Vaccine and GDP boost the demand for offices

The progress of vaccination against COVID-19 and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth made the high-end corporate office segment reach, in the second quarter, its inflexion point in the São Paulo market. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it was the first time in which the difference between the total contracted and turned areas - called net absorption in the industry jargon - was positive, in the key regions of São Paulo, according to SiiLA consultancy, reaching 10,168 square metres.

"We always thought that vaccination would be the key to change, as has been happening in the rest of the world", says the president of SiiLA, Giancarlo Nicastro.

In the quarter, the leading market leased 9,900 square metres at WT Torre Nações Unidas to Dasa, a network of medical laboratories. Via (formerly Via Varejo) signed a contract for 7,000 square metres at the Eldorado Business Park. "The tendency is for it to continue, unless there is something off the radar, like some variant that makes it necessary to return to the 'lockdown'", says Nicastro.

In Nicastro's assessment, the demand for offices has grown because potential occupants realized that this is the "best time" to rent properties, considering that there are still options with attractive rental prices in priority regions, such as the Paulista.

For the SiiLA executive, the price hike cycle occurs after vacancy drops to 15%, which he expects a year from now. According to Nicastro, the focus of office owners should now be on "optimizing occupancy" and not price. "It's better to have a low-priced leased property than an empty property," he says. Contracts of at least five years undergo revisions every three years to adapt to market values.