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What role does coworking play in asset valuation?

A CBRE analysis of office building sales found that those with flexible workspaces sold for either more or around the same as properties without flex space.

The study took 31 transactions of buildings with at least 10% square footage of flex space and found that about 40% of sold buildings achieved greater values than average for the market.

“By investing in build-outs and progressive real estate structures, such as partnerships with flexible space providers, landlords can differentiate their properties and, under the right circumstances, boost their value beyond that of their peers,” said Julie Whelan, Americas head of occupier research at CBRE.

CBRE also found that most flexible space transactions had cap rates lower than the national average due to operators choosing lively investment markets and high-quality buildings.

Whelan said that flex transactions that perform well in the West are typically driven by the tech sector, which typically have “strong employment gains, low vacancy and positive net absorption.”

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Manhattan, in particular, had the most flexible office space tracked by the study with 12.5 million square feet. Boston had around 3 million square feet and Seattle has around 2 million square feet, representing 1.9% of the office inventory.

Although this was a small sampling, it gives some insight to investors who may be weary about the risks of buying a building with flexible workspaces.

“Despite our expectation that the flexible space segment will continue to mature and expand in the coming years, real estate fundamentals will remain the most important consideration for investment, regardless of the presence of flexible space,” said Whelan.

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