The closure of the Home Plus chain has emptied out several commercial spaces in the best locations throughout Serbia.
This is another blow to the commercial space market, which has suffered in recent months either because the tenants have been insisting on lower rents due to lack of work or some have left their business premises because their companies closed down.
At the same time, the pandemic has shut down a huge number of offices in Serbia, both temporarily and permanently. Many rented bars have also been closed. Also, large companies are increasingly moving out of large spaces to reduce costs.
Immediately after the state of emergency was declared in Serbia, rent prices started to decrease, up to 50%. Those companies that did not cancel the lease, agreed with the owners a lower rent or even a freeze it for a certain period of time.
“A large number of companies have reduced the number of employees working in the office and started working remotely, providing that their business model allowed it. That is why there is an imbalance in the market, where the supply grows more than the demand, and therefore leads to lower rental prices of business premises”, says Miloš Mitić, director of operations of the City Expert real estate agency.
“We can see that the pandemic has especially jeopardized small businesses and businesses that come from specific activities such as tourism and catering. Many of these small companies have rented premises and now, due to drastically reduced revenues, they are forced to negotiate with the owners of rental premises or are vacating their premises”, says Mitić.
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Real estate expert Milić Đoković also believes that the demand for both business premises and stores has decreased.
He says that those businesses that rent premises in a good location have tried to come to some kind of agreement with the owners, because it is not in anyone’s best interest to cancel the rent. “The commercial space is a bit different. It has happened that companies don’t want the space anymore, and they keep renting only one or two offices to keep the business going,” Đoković adds.
On the other hand, IT companies are now the biggest customers when it comes to renting commercial space. The premises in shopping malls are still quite popular, but that market segment has also had to adapt to the epidemiological situation.
This post is also available in: Italiano