APAC office markets on the mend

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With many markets succeeding in containing the pandemic and slightly relaxing restrictions on business and social activities over the past six months, there has been a significant improvement in business sentiment across Asia-Pacific (APAC) this year, according to CBRE’s “Asia Pacific Future of Office Survey” report released on July 22.
These insights were obtained from CBRE’s latest occupier sentiment survey conducted from May 3 to June 4. As companies gradually return to expansionary mode, the report highlights key occupier trends and analyses whether occupiers are moving towards the new normal.
The report shows that 71% of respondents believe the current business conditions are improving, marking substantial progress from the two surveys conducted by CBRE in April and October 2020. Greater China and the Pacific showed the highest confidence, while India and Southeast Asia were less optimistic as they struggled to contain a new wave of infections.
The unpredictability of infection rates will continue to weigh on the pace of the regional recovery for the foreseeable future. “The rapid increase in vaccination rates in mature Asian markets and the reopening of offices globally, however, will further strengthen corporate confidence in managing the pandemic,” the report said.
“While the average office utilisation rate in APAC slightly improved to 49% in May, the pace of returning to the office across the region varies and is expected to fluctuate regardless of the economic recovery. Markets in Greater China had the highest office utilisation in May, whereas office utilisation in Southeast Asia and India has decreased since the previous survey due to the reintroduction of restrictions on office capacity.”
The office utilisation rate is expected to fluctuate in tandem with sustained increases or decreases in infection rates. “Several cities in Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan have recorded improved office utilisation, subsequently introducing restrictions on office capacity due to increased Covid-19 cases in June,” the report said.
CBRE advised occupiers to adopt a flexible approach towards remote working while remaining on standby to reopen offices. Many companies had implemented incentive policies to encourage employees to get vaccinated.
Source: The Edge Markets

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