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Almaty and Astana: The Duopoly of Kazakhstan's Office Market

By: Lukasz Skowroński, SIOR


Kazakhstan is the largest and most developed country in Central Asia, with a relatively stable and resilient, resource-rich economy. Thanks to its significant oil reserves and the supply of almost all important minerals and strategic metals, Kazakhstan is the most mature economy in the region.

Kazakhstan’s economy has been strong for many years, with an impressive 4.3% expansion in 2021, and despite a dip during covid, has strong 2024 forecasts for growth rates of 4.9%. Notably, the economy grew by 5.1% in Q2 2023, with real GDP growth projected to reach 5.3% in 2024.

The real estate sector is a vital contributor to Kazakhstan's economy, consistently representing approximately 8% of the country's GDP in recent years. In 2022, real estate transactions accounted for 6.5% of GDP, while the construction sector contributed 5.3%. Notably, the construction sector demonstrated remarkable resilience in the first half of 2023, achieving a remarkable growth rate of 12.3%.

While challenges have arisen due to political reshuffles, mass protests in January 2022 (Qantar), and sanctions imposed on Russia, the Kazakh economy continues to display stability, largely attributed to its vast resources. The immediate threat of instability seen in 2022 is passing now. High global oil prices affect exports positively. The official unemployment rate remains low at 4.7%, and it is predicted it will be below 5% in the years ahead. Recent migration from Russia has significantly impacted the real estate market. Rental housing sector has grown by 163% in the last two years, the office market has recorded peak occupancy rates of around 95%, and the industrial market is at its biggest boom ever.


Almaty, with its sprawling population of over 2.2 million, proudly stands as Kazakhstan's largest city and a true Central Asian metropolis. Despite the capital's official move to Astana in 1998, Almaty retains its status as the nation's commercial and cultural epicenter. It boasts the most developed real estate market in Central Asia and remains the leading commercial center. Investment volumes and demand are increasing, especially in the office sector. Investors and occupiers have become more active in the last 12 months, recognizing the potential of the Almaty market. Almaty's population is growing at a rate of around 2% per year. This growth is being driven by both natural increase and migration from other parts of Kazakhstan. Demand for office space is strong, and rents are rising.


At the end of 2022, Almaty's modern office premises, encompassing both grade-A and grade-B spaces, collectively spanned nearly 1,400,000 square meters, with grade-A offices comprising approximately 9% of this total. Notably, construction remains on an upward trajectory, with an average quarterly supply increase of 2%, reflecting a noteworthy pipeline of projects. The city's skyline continues to evolve, complementing the developments previously carried out by prominent developers such as Global Development, Capital Partners, and Mercury Properties. The most significant business centers in Almaty are three grade-A developments: Park View Office Tower, AFD, and Esentai Tower. Conversely, the biggest grade-B mixed-used development is Nurly Tau. Other buildings important for the market are Green Tower, Baikonur, Ken Dala, PRIME Business Park, and Abylai Khan Plaza.

Kazakhstan offers a remarkable testament to resilience in the face of adversity.

Since the advent of 2023, Almaty has experienced a continued surge in demand for office spaces. This surge, in part, has led to a further reduction in the market's average vacancy rate to below 5%. The strongest demand is seen for the grade-A office premises, mainly in the old city centre and in the central business district (CBD), where vacancy rates are even close to 0%.

The average baseline rent for grade-A properties ranges between $35 and $50 per square meter per month, while grade-B premises start at $15, ascending to $30. Grade-A buildings frequently index their rental rates in the U.S. dollar, whereas other landlords extend the option of payment in Kazakhstani tenge, often accompanied by "risk-sharing" formulas or annual rent reviews, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) measurements. Service charges typically range from $3 to $8 per square meter per month for grade-A offices and are usually incorporated into the rent for grade-B buildings.

Constantly growing flexible workspace segment, comprising serviced offices and co-working spaces, is also making significant strides in Almaty. Increasing business activity and growing interest of international companies affected this sector mostly and this led to decreasing the overall vacancies. This segment is estimated to account for approximately 2% of the total office market and is expected to continue to grow in popularity in the coming years. There are about 20 flexible office projects in the city and leading establishments like Park View Serviced Offices, Level-8, Regus, Ken Dala, and SmArt.Point have garnered substantial occupancy rates.


Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, has undergone a remarkable transformation into a dynamic, modern city since its declaration as the capital in 1997. With a population of 1.4 million residents, Astana is located in the northern part of the country. While Almaty remains the commercial epicenter of Kazakhstan, Astana’s rapid development has the potential to reshape this landscape in the years to come. Astana's transformation has been nothing short of astonishing. In just over two decades, the city has been transformed from a relatively small and provincial capital into a global metropolis. This transformation has been driven by a number of factors, including economic growth, government investment, and foreign investment.

Astana's future looks bright. The city is well-positioned to continue to grow and develop in the years to come. Astana is home to a number of key businesses and organizations, and it is a major center for government and diplomacy. Real estate market is still developing, but it offers a number of opportunities for investors. Demand for office, retail, and residential space is high, and rents are rising.


In comparison to 2020 and 2021, in the last two years Astana's office sector has witnessed substantial growth in both investment volumes and demand, reflecting its promising trajectory. The city's relocation to the role of the capital has laid the foundation for long-term growth, attracting an array of development opportunities across various sectors. Multinational corporations have strategically chosen to relocate their headquarters from Almaty to Astana, or establish branch offices within the capital, underscoring its growing importance as a commercial center.

The demand for office premises in Astana is resilient and steadfast, driven by both the public sector, particularly government-related entities, and the private sector. This robust demand has resulted in an impressive occupancy rate hovering around 88%. Notably, the market's vacancy rates remain significantly lower than pre-pandemic figures.

Over the past five years, the city has experienced an influx of office construction projects, resulting in what some have described as an "oversupply," particularly during 2017-2019. The modern office premises in Astana, including both grade-A and grade-B spaces, now encompass nearly 1,200,000 square meters, with approximately 8% designated as grade-A office space. Notably, the city anticipates significant growth in supply, particularly with the Abu Dhabi Plaza development, a mixed-use venture encompassing a Gross Building Area (GBA) of 500,000 square meters, of which over 100,000 square meters will be dedicated to office premises.

Rental rates in Astana exhibit a wide range, with average base rents for grade-A offices fluctuating between $25 and $60 per square meter per month, while grade-B spaces command prices starting at $15. Rental rates in grade-A establishments typically adhere to the U.S. dollar, whereas grade-B offices may extend the option of payment in Kazakhstani tenge. Service charges for grade-B buildings are usually integrated into the rent, ranging from $2 to $8 per square meter per month for grade-A establishments.

The flexible workspace segment, comprising serviced offices and co-working spaces, is undergoing significant expansion in Astana. A heightened level of business activity has significantly diminished overall vacancies, although it is estimated to still be around 1% of the total market. There are eight locations of the flex offices in Astana and notable projects in this sector include Talan Towers Executive Hub and Regus, both of which are currently operating at full capacity.


As the economy continues its upward trajectory, forecasts anticipate increases in occupancy rates and slight to moderate rises in rental fees, especially in the immediate quarters ahead. Both Almaty and Astana real estate markets appear poised for enduring stability, both in terms of occupancy and rental rates.

In summary, Kazakhstan offers a remarkable testament to resilience in the face of adversity, with its real estate markets in Almaty and Astana exemplifying the nation's potential for enduring economic prosperity. These cities, each with its unique appeal, stand as beacons of opportunity for investors and businesses alike, contributing to the continued growth and dynamism of Kazakhstan's real estate sector.


Media Contact
Alexis Fermanis SIOR Director of Communications
Lukasz Skowroński, SIOR
Lukasz Skowroński, SIOR
Global Development LLP

Łukasz Skowroński, SIOR, FRICS, Managing Director of Global Development LLP, is an office specialist inKazakhstan. He has worked for major companies in Central and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia.