Aug 8, 2023 - Economy

Charted: Office demolitions accelerate

U.S. office space <span style="color: black; background-color:#C1AAFF; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap;">construction</span> and <span style="color: black; background-color:#FCCA8C; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap;">removal</span>
Data: Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Developers demolished more offices than they built in the first half of 2023.

Why it matters: New data from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) shows how commercial real estate is still reeling from the sudden spike in remote work during the pandemic.

By the numbers: Crews razed 14.7 million square feet of office space in the first half of the year while breaking ground on only 4.8 million square feet, according to JLL.

  • That's the first time in recent memory that groundbreakings trailed demolitions.
  • In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, groundbreakings totaled 77.6 million square feet while demolitions totaled only 10 million square feet.

The bottom line: The real estate sector is already adjusting to the new normal.

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