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The rewards are worth the risk: Returning to the office sector in turbulent times
- July 1, 2024: Vol. 18, Number 7

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The rewards are worth the risk: Returning to the office sector in turbulent times

by Carol Hodgson

The office market is undergoing a period of structural change, with many drawing parallels to the global financial crisis. It is also important, however, to acknowledge the distinctions. For instance, the current downturn is not mirroring the historical patterns we have typically observed.

Looking back to 2007, and the onset of the GFC, issues in the banking sector filtered directly through to real estate, with capital markets feeling the brunt of the initial downturn. Yields moved out sharply and continued to do so for just under two years.

This turbulence took time to filter through to economic growth and occupier markets. The euro zone fell into a technical recession in the third quarter of 2008, and at the same time, office rental values started to decline. This resulted in a shrinking economy, companies downsizing or, in some cases, going bust. Overall, European office rents declined by around 18 percent, while capital values fell by double that.

Today, the

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