In 2020, San Francisco recorded a record increase in sublease supply, ultimately accounting for more than half of the total office vacancy in the market, according to research from Cushman & Wakefield. "Unfortunately, as supply surged, demand went in the opposite direction."

"We have recorded an uptick in tenants in the market. Pre-pandemic there were 6.5 million square feet of tenants actively searching for space then technically falling to just over 3 million square feet, although even those searches were on pause. The figure has since recovered, now standing at a moderately robust 4.5 million square feet with active tours underway," Robert Sammons, senior director of research for Northern California and Northwest at Cushman & Wakefield, tells GlobeSt.com.

Some of this activity has started to recover as lockdowns end in California and vaccine distribution increases. "The overall market has been very quiet due in large part to the lockdown that is just now beginning to ease," says Sammons. "We are also aware that some tenants who did put space on the sublease market have already done so or are considering pulling it offline as they now feel the economy is re-opening and that in the near-term they will need an office presence again."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.