Though it runs contrary to the narrative of declining leasing activity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, lease renewal data shows that the square footage leased grew by 2.2% from pre-renewal sizes during the second and third quarters of 2020, according to Cushman & Wakefield research. But, don’t mark it down to social distancing.
Cushman & Wakefield Head of Economic Analysis & Forecasting Rebecca Rockey said the firm examined a sample of lease renewal data from 17 of the largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. To her surprise, the data showed a net increase in the total amount of square footage associated with those renewals.
Overall, 42% of tenants sought to upsize their renewals during Q2 and Q3, compared with the 35% that chose to downsize. About 24% had no change. The majority of firms looking to expand their space were leasing an average of 24K SF pre-renewal, while those looking to downsize were larger users in spaces averaging 36K SF, according to Rockey.
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