Co-Working Operators Leased 5-Times More Office Space in 2017

8 February 2018 – Expansión

Operators of co-working offices are gaining strength in Spain and multiplied by five times the space leased in 2017, to 40,500 m2.

The international co-working giants –WeWork, Regus, Glue Concept and Busining– are claiming their space in Spain and have recorded a milestone in the leasing of co-working office space in Madrid and Barcelona.

Last year, 40,500 m2 was leased for use by these kinds of work spaces, which represents a five-fold increase in the figure recorded the previous year, according to explanations provided by the real estate consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

Sources at the consultancy firm explain that the arrival of international operators has definitively reactivated the so-called serviced office sector in Spain, which includes business centres and co-working spaces.

Specifically, Regus, WeWork, Busining and Glue Concept closed 15 office space rental operations in Spain last year. Those operators opted for new and renovated buildings, with large and bright spaces, locations that are well-connected by public transport and with excellent services for their users in the vicinity of the offices, explained Ana Zavala, National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman.

By city, Madrid accounted for 82% of the surface area leased, whilst Barcelona represented 18%. By number of operations, 53% corresponded to Madrid, compared with 47% to Barcelona.

For the consultancy firm, the participation of this new model in the global office calculation for Madrid and Barcelona still has room for growth, as it currently accounts for around 5%. Thus, whilst in Madrid and Barcelona, the leasing by these types of business accounted for 3% in 2016, in London, they represented 10%.

“The growth in terms of leasing has been very significant in 2017, but the model is still very new in Madrid and Barcelona, and will depend on the success and demand that is generated. London is a much more mature market in terms of co-working in Europe and there the market share has amounted to around 9%-10% of the volume leased over the last two years”, said Zavala.

For the National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman, the benefits of these spaces are attractive for SMEs and micro-companies used to working in a collaborative way (…).

New players

In an effort to take advantage of the new needs in the market, the large Spanish Socimis Colonial and Merlin have also taken their first steps into this business. In this way, in October, the Catalan Socimi closed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the co-working platform Utopic_US. That agreement also includes the development of a strategic plan through successive capital injections by Colonial. Utopic_US, founded by 2010, has three centres in Madrid and will open another one in Barcelona within the next few weeks.

Also in October, Merlin announced the purchase of a stake in Loom House. In the case of the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente, its alliance with Loom House involves jointly converting some of the buildings in Merlin’s portfolio into co-working office spaces. Loom House currently has two co-working centres in Madrid, one in the Atocha area and another on Calle Huertas.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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