Performance indicators for office space in the capital remained stable last year. Vacancy rates stayed at last year’s level of 8.2%, which both Cityde.brussels and Bruxelles Développement urbain take as a positive sign at a time of lasting economic crisis. These revelations are to be found in the 35th edition of the office Observatory, which also reveals that the median rent is unchanged at 150 euros/m2. The new report however, points to important variations.
For example, it reveals that suburban office districts, which only represent 25% of offices for rent, increase the overall vacancy rate in the region. The Louise district is the worst off in this context, with a vacancy rate of 11.2%. The Leopold district, including some of the European neighbourhoods, saw its vacancy rate fall from 12 to 9% in 2013, and the figure stayed the same in 2014. At the opposite end of the market, the office Observatory dwelt on the office district east of the Pentagon, hardly affected by the crisis as shown by its vacancy rate of 4.2%.
Authors of the report explain that this situation reflects the great disparity between offices used mostly by federal state administrations, and also local and regional state administrations; by the financial sector (approximately 20%); and by service industries. The neighbouring Leopold district is home to European companies and to lobbies, which are completely absent in the east Pentagon district. Being at the centre of the country has resonance, it means being close to power, and to politically, culturally and historically prestigious sites which make it even more appealing.
Two thirds of office space planned, renovated or being built hopefully in 2015 are in the Pentagon district.