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Seattle Office Space Market Conditions

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Home to Boeing, Microsoft and a number of other burgeoning businesses, Seattle, Washington is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.  Known as the Emerald City, Seattle boasts a multi-cultural population of around 635,000 and is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.  Also home to the University of Washington, Seattle has shown to have the highest percentage of college and university graduates of any major U.S. city*

Despite the fact that Seattle experiences less rainfall than Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta*, it has earned a reputation for being the wettest city in the U.S.  Regardless, the many lakes, parks, forests, and rivers make living in Seattle an outdoorsman’s dream.  The people of Seattle enjoy many non-rainy days when they can sail, ski, bicycle, camp and hike.  When they’re not outdoors, Seattleites like to be indoors enjoying the local music and arts scene.  Seattle has been the launching pad for many popular rock bands and musicians, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, Kenny G, Heart, and most recently, hip-hop sensation Macklemore.  Additionally, the city is home to several pro-sports teams, including the Seahawks, the Sounders, and the Mariners.

Seattle is situated on the Puget Sound, making it an oceanic port - the eighth largest in the nation.  Although logging was the region’s first real industry, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean has led to trade with Asia becoming a large part of the area’s economic activity.  Additionally, the city is full of attractive landmarks such as the Space Needle, and Pike Place Market, as well as several unique neighborhoods, making it a favorite destination for tourists from all over the globe.

Seattle has experienced many economic highs and lows during its history.  After the boom of the lumber industry, the city experienced a serious economic decline, but then boosted itself out of the slump by becoming a major transportation center.  During the post World War II era, the city again experienced an economic slide, but recovered due to Boeing’s surge in the commercial aircraft market.  Despite its economic crises over the years, Seattle has demonstrated the ability to strengthen its infrastructure and come up swinging.

With one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country, Seattle is experiencing an overall strong economy.  However, the Seattle office space and commercial real estate markets are showing signs of leveling off. 

Despite this, office rental rates have continued to rise with the most expensive office space in the Seattle area being Class A space located in the Bellevue Central Business District at over $35.00 per square foot.**

More information/articles on the  Seattle office market.

Market Area

YTD Total Net Absorption SF

Total Vacancy SF

Average Asking Rent SF

Downtown

Class A

Class B

 

913,554

425,876

 

4,083,312

1,716,841

 

$33.44

$28.22

Northend

Class A

Class B

 

29,736

-2,759

 

178,860

1,071,621

 

$28.91

$26.23

Southend

Class A

Class B

 

13,539

323,009

 

172,943

1,376,004

 

$25.81

$22.75

Eastside

Class A

Class B

 

55,533

92,691

 

1,239,960

1,642,657

 

$34.47

$29.87

Source: Jones Lang LaSalle Office Statistics - Quarter 2, 2013

* Wikipedia
** Colliers International Puget Sound Region Research and Forecast Report - Quarter 2, 2013

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By: James Osgood

Office Rental , Office Space , Seattle Office Space

US Office Space Markets are Showing Modest Improvement

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The CCIM Institue has come out with their market analysis of the commercial real estate sector and it calls for very modest growth in the office space sector (full discussion below). Slower employment growth, as would be expected is the main culprit.

"Office Space: Office markets are showing only modest improvement. Office employment has increased 2.2 percent during the past year, compared to average growth of close to 3.0 percent during the past cycle and well over 4.0 percent during second half of the 1990s. Moreover, firms continue to find ways to squeeze more workers into fewer square feet. Even with modest growth, net absorption has risen for five consecutive quarters, but growth is exceptionally modest by past standards. With little new construction, vacancy rates have edged lower, falling 0.4 percentage points over the past year to 17.2 percent, according to Reis.

While the overall market is seeing only modest gains, there are a few pockets of strength. Major technology centers, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Austin, and Raleigh, N.C., all continue to see strong demand. Rents have grown the most in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, which is also increasingly driven by the tech sector.

Despite the sluggish pace of recovery, office property sales have increased this year. Properties in key technology centers, areas with a great deal of exposure to healthcare, and a few major energy markets, such as Houston, continue to outperform most other major markets. New York appears to be successfully navigating the slowdown in the financial services industry and is seeing an influx of technology jobs. Washington, D.C., however, has seen demand for space and buyer interest wane as continued anxiety and uncertainty about the federal budget has sent chills through market. The suburbs of Washington, D.C., are faring better with the tech sector fueling gains in northern Virginia and healthcare driving gains in suburban Maryland and Baltimore."

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Commercial Real Estate , Manhattan Office Space , New York Office Space , Office Space Negotiations , San Francisco Office Space , Seattle Office Space , Washington DC Office Space

Report: Office Rental Markets Improving

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The Real Deal March 31, 2011 Office rents and absorption will rise over the next two years in urban and suburban business districts, according to Cushman & Wakefield's office market forecast released today. Though office rents remain low in the U.S., the report determined that a lack of new supply coupled with rising demand will force rents upward in half of all central business districts - or urban business centers - by 2013. And while 2010 saw just 2.2 million square feet absorbed in cities, by 2012 that number should grow more than six-fold to 13.9 million square feet. New York City will lead the charge, along with Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle and Chicago, as those areas will combine to account for nearly two-thirds of that space. Suburban office vacancies will also decline between now and 2013, but at a slower rate than those of central business districts. Almost half of all suburban markets will see office rent declines between now and 2013, and five areas - including Miami - will see office rents dip below 2010 bottoms.

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The Nation's Strongest Economies

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POLICOM releases annual rankings for the 366 metropolitan areas and 576 so-called micropolitan areas nationwide.

The Top Ten Economies

1.Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.
2. Washington Metropolitan Area
3. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo.
4. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
5. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif.
6. Salt Lake City
7. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
8. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.
9. Madison, Wis.
10. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

With their stronger economies, these are the office space markets that we would expect to lead the recovery.

Dallas Office Space , Houston Office Space , San Diego Office Space , Seattle Office Space , Washington DC Office Space

Markets with the Biggest 1Q Jumps in Vacancy Rates and Declines in Rental Rates

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OC Register - Orange County office rents fell at an 8.7% annual rate in the first quarter — 2nd worst drop among 79 U.S. markets tracked by commercial real estate analysts at Reis Inc.

Reis pegged typical Orange County office rents at $27.12 per square foot after tumbling in the past year. Only New York — with its $54 rents after a 12.4% cut in a year — had a bigger drop. (Nationally, rents fell 4.2% in the past year!)

One reason for the Orange County rent cuts was a flood of empty offices. Reis put Orange County office vacancy at 19.6% off all space — up 3.8 percentage points in a year. (Nationally, vacancy ran 17.3% in Q1 — up 2.1 percentage points in a year.)

Only 5 U.S. markets had bigger jumps in their vacancy rates:

    * Seattle: 17.1% Q1 vacancy — up 5.1 percentage points in a year.
    * Phoenix: 25.2%  vacancy — up 4.6 points.
    * Las Vegas: 24.2% vacancy — up 4.3 points.
    * Fairfield (Conn.): 19.2% vacancy — up 4.3 points.
    * Ft. Lauderdale: 20.3% vacancy — up 4.2 points.

Victor Calanog, Reis’ director of research, on the national outlook; “Reis does not expect vacancies to begin declining until 2011. It may take another quarter or two after that for positive rent growth to resume. 2010 will be marked by rising vacancies and negative rent growth, but as the overall economy and labor markets continue to recover, the magnitudes of decline should be far less relative to what we recorded in 2009.”

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