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Shanghai’s Decentralised Office Market: At a Tipping Point

​The recent growth spurt in decentralised Grade A offices has brought Shanghai’s real estate market one step closer to maturity. The traditional CBD can no longer contain the city’s increasingly varied office demand. Much of the new decentralised supply offers high specifications at a significant discount to CBD Grade A space, offering considerable value to satisfy ‘mid-market’ demand. Many firms are expected to seek affordable new Grade A space as they upgrade, expand and consolidate their offices, together representing an enormous source of pent-up demand.

Cutting costs is far from the only factor supporting decentralised demand. Prescient urban planning and extensive infrastructure building are enabling the outward spread of population and amenities, hastening the maturation of decentralised office submarkets. These trends in turn make submarkets outside the CBD more attractive to a wide and growing range of tenants, and help ensure that the decentralised market’s strong performance remains sustainable going forward. As leasing activity continues to grow, investors have started to follow tenants into decentralised areas, leading to a rise in transaction levels that is helping to boost the market’s liquidity.

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