Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Reis: Office Vacancy Rate "steady" in Q1 at 15.8%

by Bill McBride on 4/05/2017 12:13:00 PM

Reis released their Q1 2017 Office Vacancy survey this morning. Reis reported that the office vacancy rate was unchanged at 15.8% in Q1, from 15.8% in Q4. This is down from 16.0% in Q1 2016, and down from the cycle peak of 17.6%.

From Reis Economist Barbara Denham: Office Vacancy Holds Steady at 15.8%; Rents Increase 0.5% in the Quarter. Vacancy Increases in 42 U.S. Metros, but only 10 See Effective Rent Decline.

The office market held steady in the first quarter as vacancy was flat at 15.8%, the same as the previous quarter and down from 16.0% a year ago. The vacancy rate has fallen less than 200 basis points from a high of 17.6% in 2010.

The national average asking rent increased 0.5% in the first quarter while effective rents, which net out landlord concessions, increased 0.4%. At $32.13 per square foot, the average rent increased only 1.8% from the first quarter of 2016: this is the slowest annual rate of office rent growth since 2011.

Net absorption was 4.9 million square feet in the first quarter, down from an average net absorption of 9.4 million square feet per quarter in 2016. Construction was also low at 7.9 million square feet, down from an average of 8.8 million square feet in 2016. ...
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 reported the vacancy rate was at 15.8% in Q1.  The office vacancy rate is at the lowest level since early 2009, but remains elevated.

Office vacancy data courtesy of Reis.