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According to new data from CBRE, companies stopped standing still in 2021 when it comes to long-term real estate decisions.

Office-using companies in major U.S. markets shifted to more relocations and expansions in the first three quarters of 2021, reflecting increased confidence in making long-term real estate decisions compared to a year earlier. In turn, companies focused less in 2021 on status-quo lease renewals and space contractions.

CBRE’s analysis of office-leasing activity found that expansions in primary markets – Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco – climbed to 24 percent by square footage last year from 17 percent in the final three quarters of 2020, after the pandemic struck. Likewise, relocations within the market – as opposed to lease renewals in the same space – increased to 33 percent from 23 percent. Conversely, space contractions declined to 5 percent from 10 percent.