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JLL Sees Recovery Signs for Office Market

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CHICAGO-Signs of a national office market recovery, including the peaking of sublease space and rents bottoming out, began appearing this year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle in its First Quarter 2010 North American Office Outlook. However, company research experts believe that though confidence is returning, job growth will be slow to recover until at least the beginning of 2011.

The national office vacancy rate rose by 20 basis points to 18.3% in Q1 2010, but this increase was relatively stable compared to the vast losses of space, more than 200 basis points, from quarter to quarter in 2009, said JLL officials. Also, the amount of available sublease space nationwide has dropped for the past two quarters, says John Sikaitis, JLL’s director of national office research.

However, the amount of shadow space, offices leased by tenants but not used, has grown at large firms, Sikaitis tells “Many large corporate tenants have excess space, in excess of 9%, that will absorb any new growth this year,” he says. “For example, when company X goes out and hires 10 people in the next three-to-six months, they won’t need more room. Because of this, we believe the first wave of growth is not going to result in much occupancy gains.”


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