Median European Occupancy Cost: €9,853

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PwC-Ban de GasperichFor the last two years, AOS Studley, an independent real estate consulting firm, has published the results of its OIC (Occupiers Cost Index) barometer, which indicates the median occupancy cost per fulltime employee of the office working environment each year. Started seven years ago in Belgium, this study has become a European reference for office real estate. Of the 22 countries surveyed in 2013, Norway has the most expensive offices. Where on the scale are the Grand Duchy and neighbouring countries? Read on.

How much does an office cost at the end of 2013?

An annual survey covering millions of square metres

By studying the costs incurred by their clients over 10 years, AOS Studley extracted the necessary information to develop their barometer. In all, nearly 3,500 buildings, comprising an area of about 30 million square metres, have been scrutinized.

This year, it’s clear that the crisis has left its mark on European occupancy cost. In 2013, the OIC stood at €9,853, as opposed to €10,170 in 2012, representing an average decrease of 3%.

Real estate is the most important cost for a company

The share of the total cost of a business allocated to the real estate budget (space and infrastructure) is 65%. It is therefore natural that companies attach great importance to their premises and their employees’ working environment.

The remaining 35% is divided between:

  • Information technology and communication, including all equipment, software and generic services per workstation;
  • Management and organization in terms of human resources and services such as security, catering, cleaning, etc.

This percentage allocation applies to all countries studied. There are variations in the total cost from one area to another, but, in general, a decrease of 3% was found even in Luxembourg, even though it remains higher than the European average. The only countries that have not experienced this decrease are the United Kingdom (7th position), Turkey (15th) and Norway, which is still in the lead.

Luxembourg in the Top 5

The 22 European countries studied included those of the Greater Region. France is in 6th place, Belgium 8th and Germany 13th. Luxembourg, meanwhile, surpasses its neighbours and achieves 4th place in the standings, with a median cost of €15,553. It is just behind Norway (€18,604), Switzerland (€18,307) and Sweden (€16,887).

In the case of Luxembourg, the occupancy cost breaks down as follows: First, costs linked to buildings and infrastructure are €9,979 (just over 1% more than the median cost of €9,853 reported at the European level in 2013); secondly, costs of general services and user support (€1,738), thirdly, information and communication technologies (€3,243) and fourthly, those related to strategic management, including operational and cross-functional management (€593).

This is far above the costs observed in the countries of Eastern Europe, which are located at the bottom of the list. For example, the index for Hungary is close to €4,000 per year for equivalent occupancy.


Original version in French by Coralie Delferier
English version by Tia Azulay, Web Consultant for RealCorp Luxembourg

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