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Flexible Space Represents 5% of Overall Office Space Market, According to Global Cities Report

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Flexible Space Represents 5% of Overall Office Space Market, According to Global Cities Report

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Flexible workspace now accounts for up to 5% of total office space in 18 of the largest global markets, according to the Global Flex Market 2019 report by Instant Offices. This figure is expected to double in the next five years as demand increases and supply grows in response.

The annual report analyses the market for flexible workspace, including coworking, serviced and hybrid centres, in the top 18 markets for flexible workspace around the world.

No longer the domain of freelancers and start-ups, more corporates than ever before are looking to flexible options to reduce costs and increase agility. The report shows demand for flexible office space increased by +19% last year in the global cities, which was more than the average increase in supply at +16%.

Top 18 Global Cities with the Largest Flex Workspace Markets










Hong Kong



Los Angeles


San Francisco

New York






  • New York remains the most expensive market in the world, averaging $1,063, despite a decrease in desk rates of 4%. The decrease is largely driven by a supply increase year on year of 21%, much of which was in Brooklyn and Queens, which have lower rates.
  • San Francisco had the second highest cost-per-desk at $951, on average, despite a decrease in desk rates at 12%.

Supply and Demand

  • Flexible workspace demand from clients and flexible workspace supply increased 19% on average last year.
  • Demand for flexible space was almost double the global average inBerlin,Paris,Chicago,Los Angeles, andVancouveryear-on-year.

Corporate Demand

  • Larger requirements for 10 or more desks now make up around 20% of total market demand.
  • Occupancy requirements of more than one year are still above average in London, New York City and Chicago, but are lower in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Other Key Highlights of the Global Cities Report include:

  • Requests for larger spaces from corporates now make up one-fifth of total market demand.
  • Supply is spreading outside of CBDs as the market begins to evolve.
  • Increased supply is pushing desk prices down in key markets.
  • Increased competition is encouraging innovation and rising standards across the industry.
  • APAC market set to overtake EMEA in volume of supply by 2021.

James Rankin, Head of Research and Insight at the Instant Group says,

“The growth in supply of flex space has been the #1 story in commercial property markets around the world. But so many of the key city markets outside of the top five are undersized compared to the total sq. ft. of office space within them. There is more growth to come as client awareness of non-lease options increases the search for more choice in the market. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg for larger corporate requirements as companies look to flex 20% of their portfolios or more.”

For information on other regions around the world, as well as the full report, please visit here.

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