National CRE News In Your Inbox.

Sign up for Connect emails to stay informed with CRE stories that are 150 words or less.

Sub Markets

Property Sectors


National  + Office  | 
“The worst is behind us” for the office leasing market, JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich said on CNBC

JLL CEO Ulbrich Sees Brighter Days for Office Leasing 

Notwithstanding a newly released global occupier survey which found that 50% of large multinationals plan to decrease their office space, JLL CEO and president Christian Ulbrich said “the worst is behind us” for office vacancies and space utilization. 

Speaking on CNBC’s Last Call, Ulbrich turned the widely reported 50% figure from Knight Frank on its head. “That leaves another 50% which will probably increase, or stay the same,” he said.  

Ulbrich cited JLL’s hometown of Chicago as a case in point. Although its downtown was slower to recover in office use and pedestrian traffic, in recent months it has made considerable progress and is now among the top U.S. cities for occupancy. 

Asked about the disparity between U.S. return-to-office rates and those in European countries, Ulbrich cited “a cultural element” as one factor. Some U.S. CBDs either recovered quickly or never emptied out due to the pandemic, while others, such as San Francisco, have taken longer.  

Overseas, the size of an office employee’s living space—i.e., whether it’s comfortable to work in a small apartment—factors into the decision of whether to work from home or go back to the office, Ulbrich pointed out. 


Inside The Story

JLL's Ulbrich

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

  • ◦Lease
  • ◦Economy