Monday, April 11, 2016

Report: U.S. Office Vacancy Increased Slightly in Q1 2016

by Bill McBride on 4/11/2016 09:13:00 AM

From CBRE: U.S. Office Vacancy Inches Up Slightly in Q1 2016

Vacancy in the U.S. office market inched up by 10 basis points (bps) during the first quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016), rising to 13.2%, according to the latest analysis from CBRE Group, Inc. Even with the increase, the national office vacancy rate remains at the lowest level since 2008.

Despite the slight increase, vacancy continued to improve in the majority of U.S. markets, with rates falling in 33 markets, rising in 25, and remaining unchanged in five. Suburban vacancy remained at 14.7% while downtown vacancy increased by 10 bps, to 10.4%. The overall national office vacancy rate has fallen 70 bps over the past four quarters.
...
The slight rise in the national vacancy rate was fueled by significant new supply coming to certain markets including Boston, Washington D.C., Dallas and Orange County. Compounding that issue, Washington had negative absorption and Dallas only modest absorption, trailing this new supply. ...

“We expect the U.S. office market to improve in 2016 as the U.S. economy continues to expand, moving closer to full employment and driving demand for office space,” noted Mr. Havsy. “Office demand is expected to outpace new supply in the next two years, further tightening the vacancy rate and keeping rent growth above inflation in a majority of the U.S. office markets.”
CR note: This is another measure of the office vacancy rate (in addition to Reis) that I follow. In general, the office vacancy rate has been declining slowly - and will probably decline further in 2016.