The global flexible workspace market grew 18% in 12 months

According to the Global Cities Report by The Instant Group, flexible working is becoming one of the major success stories for the commercial real estate sector. In the first-ever comparison of flexible workspace in key cities around the world, data reveals the market has grown a massive 18% in just 12 months.

With emerging markets showing larger proportional growth than more established ones, coworking is steadily changing the way we all work. In the latest and most comprehensive market research to date, Instant reveals which markets are leading the way and where the industry is headed.

Renting a Desk in London is 19% Cheaper than in New York

$897 – average desk space in London

With 16% growth in 2016, London has seen massive expansion of new operators and additional centers, with key expansion occurring in cities like Manchester and Birmingham.

At $897 on average for a desk space in London, the capital boasts the fifth highest workstation rates of all key cities after New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles, largely due to increased demand within the city as large-scale projects take off.

US Boasts the Highest Average Desk Rates in the World

$1,110 – average desk space in New York

A massive 37% of space in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco is now described as coworking – an indicator of how quickly coworking has permeated the flexible workspace market in the US. Despite the maturity of these key cities, each has grown more than 15% in the past year.

Average workstation rates in the US are more than $900 per person, per month, making it one of the most expensive locations in the world for coworking. Despite this, US cities are showing an upward trajectory and have grown 12% in the last 12 months.

Research shows that the number of flexible workspace providers across the US totals more than 4000, half of which are concentrated in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois, with California leading the way for the most number of flexible and dedicated coworking spaces. Major adopters of coworking in these areas include tech, advertising, media and IT firms.

Enquiries for Flexible Office Space in Australia Triple in Two Years

$565 – average desk space in Sydney

The number of enquiries for flexible workspace in Australia have tripled in just two years, while coworking and flexible office space has grown by up to 36% in five years.

This massive increase in Australian supply exceeds that of the world’s largest market for such space – London – which grew from 9% to 16% in 2016. It also outstrips growth in New York, which has long been one of the fastest growing flexible work centers in the world.

Sydney saw 19% growth in 2016 with coworking and hybrid space growing three times faster than serviced offices. An average workstation rate of $565 per person, per month, Sydney is the 11th most expensive key market in which to rent space, while Melbourne is the 13th at $480 per person, per month.

The Flexible Workspace Market in Hong Kong Doubled in Size in Two Years

$616 – average desk space in Hong Kong

The flexible workspace market in Hong Kong experienced 16% market growth in the last year and doubled in size in just two. There are now 202 flexible workspaces in Hong Kong compared to the 330 in New York and 1,136 in London.

Growth is fueled by increased demand for flexible space in a city that boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the world when it comes to the conventional office market, and more businesses are realising the benefits of procuring flexible space to save money. Average desk rates in Hong Kong are $616 compared to London’s $897, putting it at 10th place among key markets.

Costs of Desks Decreasing Year over Year in Shanghai

$505 – average desk space in Shanghai

Flexible workspace centers have grown by 20% in the last three years in Shanghai, with 62% of all coworking centers located in the central areas of Huangpu, JingAn and Pudong.

The rapid rise in coworking is largely attributed to government support, strong infrastructure and a growing millennial workforce, which has led to an increase in centers and market operators. It is currently the 12th most expensive place to rent a desk of all key cities.

Renting a Desk in Singapore is 57% Cheaper than in New York

$472 – average desk space in Singapore

With 22% center growth in 2016, Singapore has been a strong part of the APAC market evolution, and it is currently the 14th most expensive place to rent desk space of all the key cities. Over 90% of coworking centers are located in the CBD in Singapore, where at $472 per person, desk spaces are 57% cheaper than in New York.

There has already been a x4 increase in coworking space in the city, but further growth is expected for the second half of 2017 as new operators open locations within Singapore.

The Future of Flexible Working Will Lead to a More Consumerised Workplace

Key findings in the Global Cities Report revealed several unifying themes across all of the global cities which will drive expected trends going forward:

  1. Occupier demand will shape the market more than ever before
  2. Operators will be able to observe the customer experience far more quickly, enabling them to adjust offers accordingly
  3. More hybrid spaces are expected to emerge as more operators recognise the coworking trend
  4. More landlords will look to the operator model to drive engagement with occupiers

Download the Global Cities Report

*Global cities are defined as the biggest markets for flexible office space with the most impactful progress.

Image credit: Photo courtesy of Chris Schippers.