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Global uncertainties hit office demand, gross leasing down 19% in January-March across 6 cities: Colliers India

India’s office demand has been affected by global economic uncertainties with gross leasing of workspace falling 19% in January-March across six major cities, according to Colliers India.

Real estate consultant Colliers India on Saturday released data on the office market, which showed that the gross leasing fell to 10.1 million square feet in January-March from 12.5 million square feet in the corresponding period of the previous year.

New supply declined 34% during January-March to 9.5 million square feet from 14.4 million square feet in the year-earlier period.

Gross leasing does not include lease renewals, pre-commitments and deals where only a letter of Intent has been signed.

Colliers India said that the leasing of office space has fallen due to “delayed decision-making by occupiers amidst continued economic uncertainties”.

Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR accounted for half of the total leasing during the first quarter of this calendar year.

As per the data, the gross leasing of office space in Bengaluru fell 20% to 3.2 million square feet in January-March from 4 million square feet.

In Chennai, the leasing rose 7% to 1.6 million square feet from 1.5 million square feet.

Delhi-NCR saw an 18% rise in the absorption of office demand to 2.2 million square feet from 1.9 million square feet.

The demand for office space in Hyderabad fell 30% to 1.3 million square feet from 1.8 million square feet.

Office leasing in Mumbai fell 19% to 1 million square feet from 1.2 million square feet.

In Pune, the absorption of office space declined 61% to 0.8 million square feet in January-March from 2.1 million square feet in the year-ago period.

“Share of the technology sector has declined steadily from 34% in Q1, 2022 to 22% in Q1, 2023, as corporates continue to focus on building in operational efficiencies through a hybrid model,” said Peush Jain, Managing Director, Office services, India, Colliers.

While hybrid working has impacted demand for conventional office spaces, it has also fueled demand for flex spaces across top markets, it added.

As long-term growth drivers for tech sector remain strong in India, Mr. Jain said the technology sector will continue to drive office leasing activity through a mix of conventional and flex spaces.

“Although office absorption is currently facing temporary downward pressures, leasing activity will likely pick up especially towards the latter part of the year, driven strong growth fundamentals,” said Vimal Nadar, Senior Director and Head of Research at Colliers India.

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