Feb 3, 2023 - Economy

Office occupancy hits post-pandemic high

Data: Kastle Systems; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Kastle Systems; Chart: Axios Visuals

Office occupancy hit a new post-pandemic record this week, at 50.4%, according to swipe data from Kastle Systems.

Why it matters: Are the offices half-full or half-empty? Some executives might see crossing the 50% milestone as a sign of a comeback. But the figure has largely plateaued since September, hinting at a new reality where people work from home a lot more.

Zoom out: "[T]he genie is out of the bottle," Scott Rechler, CEO of property developer RXR, told the FT. The commercial real estate market is adjusting to this new reality of not only empty offices but higher interest rates — forcing developers to make some choices.

  • In New York City, the FT notes, some office buildings — the fancy, ultra-modern ones — will make it through this change. "Dated buildings in humdrum locations will spiral into obsolescence," the FT writes.
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