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U.S. Office Outlook Worsens As Finance World Balks


After years of uncertainty about the likelihood or speed of the office's return to ubiquity in American life, confidence in the asset class seems to be waning for some, with spooked lenders and a surplus of supply adding to the angst. 

Amid the turmoil, Ropes & Gray co-Head of Real Estate Jack Creedon suggested in comments to the Financial Times that the U.S. market “could see 20%-30% of the existing office market” wiped out, never to be leased again. 

The Financial Times reported the distress experienced by the segment, particularly in second-generation and older offices, will likely persist for the foreseeable future. 

“The secondary office sector in the US is not uninvestable, but no one wants to finance it,” PGIM Global Chief Investment Officer Raimondo Amabile said in comments to The Financial Times. "There’s a belief that that’s a stranded asset."

Amabile said that in addition to the struggles of lower-tier office properties finding tenants as remote work persists, the tech industry’s massive round of layoffs could lead to a decline in demand for new space. 

While some markets like Dallas have seen stronger return-to-office trends, there has been a noticeable pullback in office leases across the country.

Financial services company Robinhood shelved its plans to occupy a 120K SF office in Denver, opting to sublease the space instead. 

The office subleasing market has boomed as a result, reaching record highs nationwide.