BEND, OR -- As Elon Musk pushes Tesla employees back to the office, remote work may be here to stay in the High Desert. Bruce Barrett, with Windermere Central Oregon Real Estate, says local vacancy rates for office space peaked around 7% during the pandemic; but that availability didn’t last. "As companies pivoted to a remote workforce, it allowed other companies to come into the area," Barrett told KBND News, "So, that 7% vacancy was quickly assimilated as new companies came to the area." He added, "A lot of those companies with large work areas in those metropolitan areas found their employees were willing to make that transition and they actually moved their offices from there to here, or they opened a remote office in Central Oregon."
Barrett says many local companies discovered remote work was a benefit for employees and don’t plan to return to the traditional model - even if they could find space to lease. According to Barrett, the market is especially tight in Redmond, where growth means more services and companies who need more space. And, he expects low vacancy rates will continue because lease rates aren’t high enough to cover the cost of new construction, so builders aren't adding inventory.
Hear more of our conversation with Broker Bruce Barrett at our Podcast Page.