A new report out by commercial real estate services and investment firm, CBRE, has revealed that the largest 100 office leases signed in the United States in 2023 included more renewals of leases for already occupied space than new deals.
CBRE’s analysis found that 58 per cent of those leases – by number and by square footage – were renewals of expiring leases for the same space. In addition, the average size of leases within the top 100 for 2023 was 267,558 sq. ft., down 12 per cent from the 2022 average.
Meanwhile, three quarters of the cumulative square footage of the largest 100 leases came in higher quality, Class A and Class A+ buildings. Narrowing the focus to new leases, 84 per cent of square footage is in these higher quality buildings.
The prevalence of top 100 leases in Class A and Class A+ buildings underscores an ongoing flight to quality in which companies prefer higher quality space in better locations in part to provide additional motivation for employees to work from the office more often.
Mike Watts, CBRE President of Americas Investor Leasing said: “The largest 100 leases of the year often reveal trends that apply to the broader office market, and a dominant trend in 2023 was containing costs amid an uncertain economic outlook. This analysis reveals that companies are striving for the most efficient use of their space as they adapt to hybrid work, and they’re often choosing to do so in the best-quality space.”
Another trend highlighted within the report is that Government overtook the finance & insurance sector to claim the largest portion of the top 100 leases. That’s due at least in part to the expiration of several large government agency leases and less private-sector leasing activity. Government claimed 19 of the largest leases, amounting to one fifth of the overall square footage of the top 100. Finance & insurance accounted for 13 of the top leases, followed by the technology (11) and legal (10) industries.
On a metro basis, the largest 100 leases favoured the coasts in 2023. The six largest shares of the top 100 by square footage were claimed by coastal markets, led by Manhattan, which mirrored the national trend of big leases by finance & insurance companies and government.
To download the report click here.