Skip to content

Single-Person Households Dominate Office Visits, WeWork CFO Resigns, Mortgage Applications Decline

Single-Person Households Dominate Office Visits, WeWork CFO Resigns, Mortgage Applications Decline

Small Business Financial Economic Development Community EAC News

What You Need To Know To Start Your Day

Single-Person Households Dominate Office Visits

One-person households are much more likely than their family counterparts to travel to the office for work in five major cities tracked by traffic analytics firm, as the Tuesday-through-Thursday period strengthens its position as the peak time for office commutes.

“It may be too soon to proclaim the permanent demise of the five-day, on-site work week,” researchers said in new report on the impacts of hybrid work schedules made popular by the pandemic. “Still, this new hybrid status quo is already presenting cities, business improvement districts, retailers, dining concepts, commercial real estate firms and other stakeholders with significant challenges.”

The firm’s first quarter tracking, covering Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco, found distance from work was a key factor in workers’ decisions on when to go to the office, with shorter commutes encouraging in-office work.

Top executives of companies are also more likely than lower-level employees to go to offices, in some cases to set an example, researchers said.

Family status is also a major factor for all five cities, with noting workers hailing from areas with higher rates of one-person households, based on U.S. Census data, accounting for “a disproportionate share of employee visits” to offices. Employees who reside in areas that included more households with children were less likely to visit the workplace and work remotely, likely because of time required to attend to family matters.

Office traffic in all five cities showed their highest levels during the first quarter in the Tuesday through Thursday period, as workers favor remote work heading into and out of the weekend. researchers said this has significant implications going forward for operators of office buildings, public transit agencies, retailers and other businesses locating near urban offices.’s monthly tracking shows average office attendance in major cities consistently hovering around 60% of pre-pandemic levels since mid-2022, though a weekly 10-city study by security technology firm Kastle Systems shows the number remaining just under 50% for the past several weeks. The Kastle number has yet to pass 50.4% on average since the start of the pandemic.

WeWork CFO Resigns

A second top executive has decided to depart coworking giant WeWork. Andre Fernandez is resigning as the New York-based company’s chief financial officer and treasurer, effective June 1. WeWork’s board of directors Wednesday appointed Kurt Wehner, the company’s chief accounting officer, to succeed Fernandez in both posts.

A company filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Fernandez notified WeWork on May 18 of his intention to quit. “The resignation is not the result of any disagreement with the company with respect to any matter relating to financial controls, financial statements or any other operations,” the filing said.

Wehner came to WeWork as chief accounting officer in October 2020, after serving in similar roles at Discovery Inc. and KPMG. News of the CFO’s departure comes after this month’s announcement that WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani was leaving for a post at private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Mathrani joined WeWork in February 2020, just weeks before the pandemic sent U.S. workers into working from home, reducing overall demand for offices in major cities. WeWork has since returned large blocks of space to the market in the form of property sales and subleasings.

Mathrani was the second permanent WeWork CEO to depart after the 2019 ouster of founder Adam Neumann from the post. Neumann came under scrutiny amid corporate governance concerns that led to a failed attempt by WeWork to become a publicly traded company.

Mortgage Applications Decline

The volume of mortgage applications for the week ending May 19 were down 4.6% from the prior week, as high interest rates discouraged new home purchases and refinancings, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

“Since rates have been so volatile and for-sale inventory still scarce, we have yet to see sustained growth in purchase applications,” MBA Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said in a statement. “Refinance activity remains limited, with the refinance index falling to its lowest level in two months and more than 40% below last year’s pace.”

Other analysts note that current conditions are keeping prospective buyers including apartment renters on the sidelines, which is helping to increase apartment demand in many regions.

The banker group’s weekly tracking of U.S. mortgage activity showed purchase applications declining 4% from the prior week and dropping 30% from the comparable week of 2022. Refinance applications were down 5% for the week and declined 44% for the year.

Powered By GrowthZone