Firms Rethink Plans to Shrink Office Portfolios as Employees Return to Work: CBRE

Originally published on June 16, 2021, by Michael Tucker for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

U.S. companies have scaled back their plans to make big cuts to their office portfolios and many now expect their offices to support “collaborative” work in person rather than remotely, said CBRE, Dallas.

CBRE surveyed 185 U.S.-based firms for its Spring 2021 Occupier Survey. Just over 40 percent said they intend to return to a steady, “relatively normal” state of office use in the third quarter and 20 percent have targeted the fourth. Nearly a quarter said they have already returned.

The survey found only 9 percent of large companies anticipate their office portfolios will get significantly smaller over the next three years, down from 39 percent in CBRE’s previous survey last September. Meanwhile, large companies planning “modest” office-space reductions grew to 72 percent this spring, up from 45 percent in September. Smaller companies are more likely to keep their portfolio the same or grow it over this period, the report said.

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