The Ritz Herald
© Chris Barbalis

With Millions of Workers Now Working From Home, the U.S. Office Market Faces Uncertain Times Ahead

Yardi Matrix Report: Coworking also faces a potential rough patch, which could have long-range implications for office space.

Published on March 31, 2020

February was the last month of the record-long economic recovery before U.S. office workers were largely asked to work from home, which will likely have long term implications for the national office market, Yardi Matrix reports in this month’s National Office Report.

The rapid growth of COVID-19 has made it clear the economy has quickly shifted into contraction mode as the nation reacts to an unprecedented pandemic.

“This is a rapidly changing situation with no clear timeframe or conclusion, and as of now, it’s unclear how long the shelter-in-place orders, social distancing, and moratoriums on public gatherings will last or how deep the economic contraction may become,” states the report.

Market experts also suspect that the mandatory work from home restrictions may have long term implications for offices, perhaps changing how feasible and desirable workers view remote work, while potentially having more challenging implications for the coworking industry.

“Owners may be hesitant to lease space to coworking firms that are themselves dependent on short-term leases. Further, remote workers that had utilized cowork­ing space may find themselves making the home office a permanent one over the next couple of months,” states the report.

Office transactions will likely come to a halt for the time being despite record low-interest rates and widening cap rate spreads. For the most part, the office market didn’t enter this situation overbuilt or with loans that are overleveraged. This should help the activity resume once the crisis subsides.

Associate Writer