It will take several years before unused office space in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia is occupied, according to Colliers International estate agency.
Colliers said that supply of new office space in Sofia continued to increase during the first half of 2011, to the point that total volume reached 1.378 million square metres.
The market grew by five per cent, divided equally between class A and B offices.
Most new buildings were completed on the outskirts of the capital, Colliers said.
Modern office space remains concentrated in the peripheral areas of Sofia, 65 per cent, compared with the ideal centre (21 per cent) and the centre of the city (14 per cent).
Vacanc office space in Sofia reached 26 per cent, which equates to 356 779 sq m.
Most is in the suburbs, 252,631 sq m, and in the centre of the city, it adds up to 30 278 sq m.
"Using up modern office space will take several years. In recent years, before the crisis, net absorption varied between 80 000 and 120 000 square meters a year," Anton Slavchev, manager of the office space division of Colliers International.
"With more than 350 000 sq m of offices that are completed, and more than 460 000 sq m that have been announced to be under construction, it is hardly possible to expect a full recovery of the office market," Slavchev said.
He said that the need for cost optimisation is one of the main factors driving the office market.
The past few months had seen tenants choosing new locations in uptown or peripheral areas of the city, moving from old offices in the centre.
"Many companies chose to relocate their offices from a residential office building, as they already can afford to do so, and new designs offer more comfort and proper conditions for companies," Slavchev said, according to a Colliers International media statement.
The average period of rental contracts remains unchanged, at three to five years.