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Stock Market Confidence Up for Improving US Office Market Recovery

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The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has upgraded Regus, the worlds largest provider of executive office suites, to a buy, from hold, as it believes earnings can surpass a previous peak.

RBS analysts  believe that the company is a good play on the continuing US economic recovery and continued emerging market growth.

With confidence in US small to medium sized businesses improving, RBS says that this is good news for Regus, which derived 42% of its 2010 first half revenues for North America.

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Report: US Office Markets Improving

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According to CB Richard Ellis' December 2010 Global Market View the 4th Quarter saw that the global markets are improving, but have quite a way to go before they become healthy.

From the report: "American office markets continue to lag those of Europe and Asia Pacific, but in Washington, D.C., net absorption reached 3.9 million sq. ft. year to date, the first time demand has outpaced supply in multi-tenant buildings in the region since 2007. Vacancy declined almost 200 basis points during the past six months in Washington, D.C., to 10.3%, which is the largest decline of any U.S. office market. Asking rents increased by 1.8% during the quarter and are expected to remain at current levels or increase slightly during the next six to 12 months in the city."

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Dallas Office Space Market Overview

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Dallas, Texas, a thriving business hub, is part of the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth metro region and home to over six million people from a multitude of cultures. Office space for lease in Dallas can provide any business, whether expanding or start-up, a great location for enterprise.

Over 20 four-year universities and colleges are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, providing an abundance of graduates skilled in all arenas of business and skilled labor. This city’s cost of living is typically slightly below the national average and much lower than the major metro areas along the west coast and eastern seaboard, making it a great place to live. The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is a major airline hub and offers direct and connecting flights anywhere you could wish to visit.

Dallas offices include the homes of 24 Fortune 500 companies. Projections indicate that the year 2013 may well see a Gross Area Domestic Product of $389 billion for this area.  Dallas is considered a great place to live and work.

People often think that Dallas office space is mainly oil and gas tycoons or others associated with that industry. This is simply not the case; Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the richest high-tech regions that it is often considered the Lone Star State’s “Silicon Prairie”. There are also large bases in finance, real estate services, insurance, biotechnology, information technology, and manufacturing.  Transportation, warehousing, and logistics are growing markets.
 
Currently, the rental office space in the Dallas Fort Worth metro area is a total of just over 226 million square feet. The average vacancy rate is 20 percent and the annual cost for office space averages $18.22 per square foot. New construction of commercial real estate spaces is significantly down due to the plentiful vacancies available.
 
Small businesses account for nearly 80% of the businesses in Dallas-Fort Worth. These small businesses employ about 40% of the workforce and play a key in the growing tax base.  Small business is defined as having less than 20 employees.

The economy in the DFW metro area is quite stable making commercial real estate is very popular for establishing and conducting business, weathering economic ups and downs much better than many other cities.
 
The commercial real estate market in Dallas is so strong that the year 2010 ended on a positive note as deal volume and tenant confidence combined to buoy leasing activity.  With so many metro areas in extremely soft commercial markets, this is a significant signal that Dallas-Fort Worth will be going strong during the upcoming economic recovery period. The Dallas metro area ranked as the 11th most active real estate investment market in the U S during the past year.  With economic improvements beginning to appear in many larger cities, you can expect DFW to be on the forefront of growth since it is one of the most resilient markets in the country, experiencing smaller impacts from economic downturns than less diverse metro areas.

If you are considering opening a satellite office, Dallas office space is both plentiful and affordable. You are certain to find the commercial office space which meets your needs. If you are starting a small business in Dallas or Fort Worth, you’ll find office spaces suitable for small companies and plenty of space to grow into as your operation expands.

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Report: Office Market Has Unquestionably Turned the Corner

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Colliers recently published it's 4th Quarter 2010 Office Highlights report for the US and Canada.

Summary:

  • Office Markets Look and Feel a Lot Better - But Higher Rents Still Some Way Off.
  • U.S. office vacancy rate down sharply - U.S. office market has unquestionably turned the corner.
  • Office occupancies up for a third consecutive quarter.
  • Rent picture again mixed.
  • Office construction slows to a trickle.

Some other interesting results:

  • Highest US Downtown Office Vacancy Rate - San Jose/Silicon Valley at 27.9% (down from 35% the previous quarter)
  • Highest US Suburban Office vacancy Rate - Las Vegas at 38.6%
  • Most Absorption for 2010 - Washington DC metro area at over 4.1 million square feet (Midtown Manhattan a close second at nearly 3.6 million square feet)
  • Lowest US Downtown Vacancy Rate - Raleigh/Durham at 5.3% (with a 33.8% suburban vacancy rate)
  • Averages -  Downtown Vacancy Rate 16% - Suburban Vacancy Rate 18.3%

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Office Workers Feeling the Squeeze...Literally

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The office space allocated to both executives and the average American office worker has been shrinking. Office workers are literally feeling the squeeze of their reduced workspaces. In 1994 the average office worker was allocate 90 square feet of useable space. In 2010 the figure shrunk to a measly 75 square feet, a 17% reduction. Mid level executives have seen there space allocation go from 115 square feet to 96 square feet. Sounds pretty tight, doesn't it? On the bright side, new technologies and a more mobile workforce allow office workers to spend less time working in their cramped areas and more time outside of their workspaces.

Intel has even reduced the average size per worker even further, using desk sharing and team rooms. The intent is to promote innovation through closer contact with team members. Employees who used to work in a 72 square foot space now work in a cozier 48 square foot station.

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The incredible shrinking American office cubicle

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