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Flexible space still expanding

Alex Hayes 14 May 2019

Alex Hayes

Journalist

+48 22 356 25 20
alex.hayes@eurobuildcee.com

Alexander Hayes is currently working as a journalist for Eurobuild Central & Eastern Europe magazine. Originally from the UK, he moved to Poland in 1995 and has been working in real estate for over four years. He has a BA in english literature from the University of Buckingham.

EMEA REGION The phenomenal growth of flexible working space is likely to continue for many years to come and by 2022 is expected to have grown by over 50 pct, with around 750,000 workers using the space on a regular basis, claims Colliers International in its ‘Flexible Workspace Outlook Report 2019’.

The number of flexible workspace operators across Europe has grown by 135 pct over the last four years, with the number of flexible workplace centres having increased by 205 pct over the same period. Since the demand for flexible office space shows no signs of diminishing, take up could double over the next three years across Europe. Of the 22 major European cities examined in the report, eight should see the area taken up by flexible workspace double over the next three years with Berlin, Bucharest, Munich and Prague amongst those expected to see the highest growth.

Two major players currently dominate the market in Europe: International Workplace Group (IWG), which operates the Regus and Spaces brands; and WeWork.

London and Paris are the most mature markets, and both have seen other operators in addition to IWG and WeWork become firmly established. Warsaw currently has 195,000 sqm of co-working and serviced- office space.WeWork is the market leader with five locations and almost 40,000 sqm and it has announced the opening of five more centres over the next 18 months. Regus has been present in Poland for over a decade and now has 24,000 sqm in 17 locations in Warsaw.

Traditional serviced offices have a market share of nearly 80% of the flexible workspace market, which accounts for approximately 75,000 sqm in Budapest, where Regus is the market leader followed by NewWork which is growing fast.

In Bucharest the market is dominated by IWG, which operates two brands: Regus and Spaces. IWG provides around half of the flexible space in the city.

Since 2016 the take up for coworking companies in Prague has grown five-fold, per year, to almost 25,000 sqm by the end of 2018. The majority of such space leased in 2018 will be opened by 2020 and includes larger international coworking names such as WeWork and Spaces as well as local players such as HubHub. Colliers expects the sector to continue growing this year but not as quickly as in previous years.

In 2019 we expect further growth of the sector, although the pace of growth will not match the pace from previous years.

“It is clear to see how rapidly the flexible workplace niche has expanded since 2001 in terms of the number of sites, volume of space and number of operators in situ across Europe. However, even at the top end of the spectrum, total take-up is marginal in comparison to the wider office market, suggesting the sector has not expanded to excess and there is still room for growth” commented Damian Harrington, the head of EMEA Research & Forecasting, at Colliers International.

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