Office Market Overview
The year 2016 was another tough one for leasing out office space in the Geneva market. The supply of available office space in the Geneva region expanded by 3.0% to 176,000 m², which equates to an availability rate of 5.3%. In Geneva’s central business district, there are currently more than ten buildings on the Rue Du Rhône alone that have 250 m² or more of vacant office space advertised for lease. That space has been freed up in part by consolidation moves undertaken by big financial institutions. Prime rents in Geneva’s CBD dipped slightly to around CHF 850/m² per annum. Even if they take a breather for a quarter or two in 2017, vacancies throughout the Geneva market look destined to continue to increase. They will start to take a sharper upward turn again at the latest by 2018, when the first stage of the Pont-Rouge complex is scheduled to be completed alongside other building completions. This is bound to perpetuate downward pressure on office rents.
The rent-price level in Geneva is generally still very high compared to the other large cities in Switzerland. This is partially attributable to the fact that over the past several years, the city of Geneva and vicinity have hardly seen an emergence of any major urban building development zones and new office-space subcentres (like Bern Wankdorf or Zurich West & North, for example) aside from Sécheron. This is bound to change in the years ahead as Geneva’s local public transportation network expands. The completion of the CEVA rail line and its accompanying real estate projects will give rise to new office sites. The area around the Lancy-Pont-Rouge train station in La Praille-Acacias particularly may establish itself in the medium term as the new subcentre in Geneva alongside the city’s CBD.