BUSINESSWIRE – The work-from-home movement isn’t deterring some of the biggest U.S. tech companies from buying up commercial properties. In fact, they’ve emerged as major tenants and acquirers of office space, warehouses, data centers, and retail stores.
“This is maybe the best opportunity that ever existed in the real estate industry,” Roy March, CEO of Eastdil Secured LLC, a real estate investment bank, told the Journal. “I don’t think we’ve ever had this kind of demand that’s being driven out of a sector since the invention of the internal combustion engine.”
Discounts in the commercial property market are prompting several tech companies to expand their real estate holdings.
The Journal reports that the five largest property owners in the tech industry are Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google parent company Alphabet Inc., and Microsoft Corp. Combined, they occupy around 589 million square feet of U.S. real estate, according to data from the CoStar Group.
These five tech companies have expanded their real estate holdings by more than a quarter this year—the fastest rate in more than a decade, according to the Journal. Their expansion comes at a time when many other companies are retreating from property transactions, unsure of how offices will be used in a post-pandemic world.
Some of these tech companies are bullish on offices returning to normal once the pandemic ends. “We believe that post-pandemic, we will ultimately return to doing a majority of our work in the office,” John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities, told the Journal. “We believe that much of the best work that we do is done in the office, where employees can come together, work together to solve problems, and be collaborative.”