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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.”

Office Vacancy Rate , Orange County Office Space , Phoenix Office Space , Seattle Office Space

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