Cushman & Wakefield has released their Global office fit-out cost guide – 2024. This sets out average fit-out costs for 134 markets across the world. This is to help guide occupiers through the early stages of defining their office relocation budgets. In addition, more detailed data and insights are provided in three regional guides for: Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific.

The global economy remained resilient throughout much of 2023 as central banks around the world continued to hike interest rates to counter high inflation. Indeed, global GDP growth for the year is estimated at 2.6%, which is broadly in line with average growth over the past decade.

Positively, inflation is down from its peak, recorded in mid-2022 for most countries, and for many economies headline inflation is coming under control, with both the U.S. and Euro zone almost at 3% at the end of 2023. Despite further progress on core inflation needed, the hiking cycle is now largely over and attention is turning to when central banks will pivot and begin easing rates from their current restrictive levels.

The timing of this pivot will vary across the world, though it is likely to occur from around the mid-point of this year. While central banks will likely want to be sure that inflation is firmly within, or at least on the correct trajectory to, target levels, they will also be mindful of the economic growth outlook. The cost of greater economic resilience in 2023 is that growth is forecast to slow through H1 2024, with some economies likely to enter recession or experience recessionary-like conditions during the year. For the U.S. this means growth of approximately -0.3%, the Euro area and U.K. are forecast at 0.9% and 0.3% respectively, with Asia Pacific around 3.5%.

Forecast real GDP growth (Average annual percent)

Upside and downside risks to this outlook abound. Support for stronger growth can be found in tight labour markets, which have been fundamental to the resilience shown to date. In contrast, geo-political tensions continue, which have placed further stress on supply chains, complicated economic policy, and driven more cautious risk appetites.

Office market
Against this uncertain economic backdrop, the office sector is also going through a period of structural change. The rise of hybrid and remote working practices has had a significant impact on office demand in some markets, as companies have rightsized their office space footprints.

North America has experienced the greatest impact of these forces, with Q4 2023 marking the eighth consecutive quarter of negative net absorption, which coincided with a historically high national vacancy rate of almost 20%.

However, not all office space is equal, and companies are increasingly substituting quantity with quality. Quality is often synonymous with strong sustainability certification from a physical environment and well-being perspective. For example, overall office leasing in Europe remained in positive territory in 2023, though declined 14% year-on-year with activity that was bifurcated between a 5% drop for Grade A space compared to 16% for secondary space. It is also important to note that not all markets are experiencing a contraction in demand. Grade A net absorption in Asia Pacific rose 21% YOY to reach over 78 million square feet (msf), with India setting a new record at 41 msf.

Looking to the future, much of the aggregate impacts of flexible and remote working experienced over the past few years have worked their way through the system; they likely have a little more to run, albeit at a more muted level. This means the office recovery will remain highly uneven across regions, markets, and the building quality spectrum. Notwithstanding, top-tier office products in the top 10-15% of any given market are expected to outperform the world over, providing many of the criteria that occupiers are now seeking to meet their workplace, location, and ESG goals. Beyond this, we forecast that net absorption in the Americas will return to positive territory in 2025, helping drive stronger growth in global office demand 1,2,3.

Using the guide
The estimated costs provided in the guide are indicative of market averages based on certain assumptions. Exact costs for specific projects may differ from those presented, so it is recommended to engage a Project & Development Services professional to advise on precise costings based on your unique construction requirements. The below are examples of estimated costs as shown in the guide.


Asia Pacific

Europe, Middle East and Africa

 How to classify fit-outs

The Generation 1 tenant improvement project (Gen 1) scope and related costs are based on modern-day corporate office space with private offices, office workstations, executive areas, reception, training rooms, conference rooms, and all other associated ancillary space customary in a corporate facility. Low Voltage Cabling, Audio Visual Equipment, Security, Furniture and other Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E) items are excluded from the pricing. Given the fluidity of the construction market, a ten percent (10%) contingency allowance has been included in the cost.

To read America’s fit-out guide visit:

Asia Pacific
A mixture of one-to-one assigned workstations with zones of non-assigned work points, flexible working practices have been adopted post-pandemic, support functions include an expanded break-out area, a variety of meeting rooms and dispersed collaborative spaces, and more than 50% of the space is allocated to dedicated workstations.

To read the Asia Pacific fit-out guide visit:

Europe, Middle East and Africa
Meeting facilities around 10% to 20% of space, with part single glazed partitions, alternations to less than 25% of the ceiling, plasterboard ceiling to meeting rooms, feature wall finishes to reception and cafeterias, medium specification carpet and finishes, hard flooring to reception, alterations to air conditioning and ventilation to suit cellurisation and multiple data points to each desk position.

To read the Europe, Middle East, and Africa fit-out guide visit:

To read the Global office fit-out cost guide – 2024 guide in full visit: