Urban to suburban: the growing shift to the suburbs as COVID-19 changes the way people live

Kenneth McCarthy • 7/7/2020

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The arrival of COVID-19 has been a trigger for new modes of work. Office buildings across the globe have emptied out, but employees are still working. They’re just working from home instead. Cushman & Wakefield’s proprietary tool, Experience per SF™ (XSF), found that workers are as productive at home as they are in the office, and in some cases, even more productive. 
suburbanization (image)The positive experience that many occupiers are having with working from home is now being considered a potential major turning point in how they think about real estate. Whatever the future holds, the discussion about office real estate has shifted from strictly urban to a broader range of alternatives including the suburbs. While we are not convinced that occupiers will need less real estate, we do think that where an occupier’s real estate is located may change in response to the events that have transpired since the arrival of COVID-19.

After a decade that increasingly focused on central cities, it feels like everything has been turned inside out. The next big thing is now not only the big new development in an urban core, but also a walkable suburban development near a transit hub.  

Suddenly, the suburbs are all the rage.  

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David Smith

VP, Americas Head of Occupier Research
Atlanta, United States

+1 (404) 853-5310

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