2018 was no doubt a successful year for the coworking space industry, but now, experts are weary about its future.
CBRE’s year-end report showed that coworking increased 200% from 2017 to 2018 with 200 coworking companies operating nationwide.
“The demand for flexibility is very strong and negotiating lease terms — whether it’s directly with a landlord or going through a third party flex-space operator — there’s increasing appetite for that,” said Nicole LaRusso, director of research and analysis at CBRE.
Although coworking seems unstoppable at the moment, there is speculation on how the durable the trend is.
Trading tensions and possible (inevitable) economic downturn could lead the real estate market into risky territory. In this scenario, experts say that tenants leasing flexible spaces could be the first casualties.
LaRusso says that in this case, tenants will most likely look for short-term options, so some may continue to move into coworking spaces and others may give back their space.
“The divergence is likely due to the perceived risk associated with higher concentrations of flex space, as well as the fact that buildings with high flexible space concentrations are much more likely to be Class B buildings,” according to the CBRE report.