Bucharest’s subway traffic doubled in March as employees gradually returned to the office – Romanian Journal

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Metro passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2022 increased by 53% compared to the same period in 2021, and records for the past two years were set in March after the pandemic-related restrictions were lifted. This indicates that activity in Bucharest has gradually resumed. Office buildings according to an analysis conducted by Cushman & Wakefield Echinox’s real estate consultancy, based on data provided by Metrorex.

The increase in passenger numbers is compared to about 5.4 million in January 2022 and 5.7 million in February 2021 from early February, when regulations were still in effect and more than 9 million traffic were recorded. I was able to observe it. With an average of 6 emergencies, 1 million passengers were recorded each month since March 2020, with pre-pandemic averages exceeding 14 million, while most employees started working from home.

In March, when the COVID-19 restrictions were completely lifted, metro traffic continued to increase, doubling to more than 12 million passengers compared to the same month last year.

Therefore, while the number of Metro passengers in the first quarter of 2022 was approximately 26.5 million, the average number of passengers in the first quarter of 2021 was 17.3 million, with an average of 227,800 passengers per day.

Traffic on the M1 and M3 lines in March 2022 increased by 95% year-on-year, and on the M2 line (Berseni-Pipera) increased by 91%. The three lines in question provide connectivity with Bucharest’s headquarters hubs such as Floreasca-Barbu Văcărescu, Piața Victoriei and Politehnica-Grozavești. Together, these hubs accommodate more than 150,000 employees (50% of all employees working in modern office buildings in Bucharest), and increased traffic is the result of a gradual return to the office. is.

Mădălina Cojocaru, Partner Office Agency Cushman & Wakefield Echinox: “Office building activity has clearly increased since the beginning of the year, and judging from ongoing discussions with both tenants and landlords, more employees will return to the office, even if they work in a hybrid system. .. This aspect is also evidenced by the evolution of metro traffic, as the Bucharest Metro is widely used by employees in modern office buildings. Although many employees still prefer to work from home, the effective occupancy rate of office buildings is expected to be 60%, and we believe that the percentage of visitors will increase significantly by the end of the year. Compared to 20% at the end of 2021. “

Bucharest’s office market has positive momentum in demand for new space as total trading area in the first quarter increased 69% compared to the same period in 2021 and 54% compared to the first three months. Was maintained. It will reach a total of 80,800 square meters in 2020.

In addition, the evolution of net take-ups (excluding renewals) should be noted as it had a consistent market share of 72%, significantly higher than the average of 56% over the last two years.

IT & C companies are the most active tenants, reducing 47% of leased area in the first quarter of 2022, while center submarket office projects recorded the highest occupancy (30% share). The first quarter coverage shows that the market could exceed the 300,000 square meter threshold in 2022 for the first time since 2019.

For new deliveries, three office projects were completed in Bucharest in the first quarter. It consists of the SemaParc expansion with the first phase of @ Expo (21,000 sqm), the London and Oslo buildings (31,000 sqm). In tandem (21,000 square meters), the total new supply reaches 73,000 square meters.

Bucharest’s modern office stock was 3.27 million square meters (excluding homeowners) at the end of March, but vacancy rates rose slightly from 13.5% at the end of March 2021 to 15.3%.

This can mainly be explained by the difference between A-class and B-class office buildings, which currently have vacancy rates of 12.9% and 23.6%, respectively.

The existing pipeline of office projects under construction (160,000 sqm GLA) is relatively low, largely as a result of Bucalest’s current bureaucratic issues, and few real estate projects have received building permits in the last 12 months.

One Cotroceni Park II, U-Center II, AFI Tech Park II, or Equilibrium II is some of the most important projects expected to be available by the end of 2023. Bucharest’s subway traffic doubled in March as employees gradually returned to the office – Romanian Journal

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