Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Reis: Office Vacancy Rate declines slightly in Q3 to 17.1%

by Bill McBride on 10/02/2012 08:36:00 AM

From Reuters: U.S. office market barely gains in third quarter

[T]he vacancy rate dipped in the third quarter by a scant 0.1 percentage point to 17.2 percent from the second quarter. The vacancy rate declined by just 0.30 percentage points compared with a year earlier.
...
[T]he average asking rent for U.S. office space rose only 1.4 percent over the past 12 months and just 0.2 percent to $28.23 per square foot from the second quarter.

Effective rent, which takes into account months of free rent and other perks landlords offer to lure or keep tenants, rose 0.3 percent to $22.78 per square foot.
...
"We're stuck," said Ryan Severino, senior economist for Reis Inc, which released its third-quarter office report on Tuesday.

Reis also sees no significant improvement for the rest of the year.

"The office market is not going to move in the right direction until the labor market starts to move in the right direction," Severino said. "Nobody is going to lease space until they're hiring, and nobody is going to hire until they feel more confident about the direction of the economy."
Office Vacancy Rate Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the office vacancy rate starting in 1980 (prior to 1999 the data is annual).

Reis is reporting the vacancy rate declined in Q3 to 17.1%, down slightly from 17.2% in Q2, and down from 17.4% in Q3 2011. The vacancy rate peaked in this cycle at 17.6% in Q3 and Q4 2010.

This is a sluggish recovery for office space.

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