Geneva Office Market Profile – Q2 2019

Quarterly report on the Geneva office market by JLL Switzerland

August 23, 2019

The Geneva rental market remains difficult despite the numerous interests of companies taking advantage of a tenant friendly market to look for new, more functional and modern office space. In Q2 2019, the supply of available office spaces in the Geneva region increased by 5% to reach approximately 198,000 m², corresponding to a vacancy rate of 5.7%.

Among other things, the business centre (CBD) recorded a total of 28,500 m² of office space available for rent on the left bank of the Rhône, 16.4% more than Q1 2019. Three vacant properties marketed this quarter can explain this increase. The first and second were released by a public institution and a bank, relocating their activities outside CBD. The last one, which was vacant for more than two years, only appeared on the market this quarter as the owner reconsidered his overall strategy. Prime rents in the city centre increased slightly last year but have since remained stable at around CHF 810/m² per year.

The new Leman Express rail line, which is scheduled to run from December 2019, confirms the reorganisation of the Geneva office market. Indeed, Geneva continues to see its demand for office space concentrated on premises with ideal location and access, close to a station.

Some aging buildings located in far less serviced areas are exposed to increasing competition. The Airport area remains the most affected district with a 12.2% vacancy rate. This continuous increase is mainly due to two factors : the official departure from Geneva of a significant number of large companies which have signed leases 10 years ago, at the top of the market, and the relocation of some companies to the city centre, in renovated and ideally located buildings.

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