San Francisco’s office market is reaching levels worse than the dot-com crash or the global financial crisis.
According to Cushman & Wakefield, as of the end of 2020, the city’s office vacancy rate reached 16.7%, an 11% increase from the year prior and higher than the Great Recession.
According to Robert Sammons, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco, the spike in vacancies is being driven by the growing amount of sublease space.
Even more, new leasing hit the lowest annual level last year since the early 1990s.
The pandemic has forced companies to flee their offices and operate with a distributed workforce as the risk of transmission remains high, particularly in cities like New York and San Francisco.
Technology companies in particular have long embraced remote working, but it has never been more necessary than now. For example, Pinterest paid nearly $90 million to cancel an office lease in San Francisco.
Recovery for the office market in the city will be dependent on widespread vaccine distribution and employees being able to return to the office safely.