Office Rents Edge Down, Long Term Impacts Uncertain, Says CommercialEdge


The national average full-service equivalent listing rate fell 11 cents in November from the previous month to $38 per square foot

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., December 18, 2020 – With vaccines for coronavirus starting to roll out across the U.S. last week, the office industry should feel better about its long-term prospects.  However, there are still concerns that will make the road bumpy over the next couple of years. CommercialEdge details the office market’s predicament in its latest National Office Report.

Many questions will need to be answered in coming months: Can and will employers require their workers to be vaccinated before returning to work?  How will liability be handled if vaccine acceptance isn’t widespread?  How does this influence decision makers determining when, or if, their firms will return to the office? The answers to those questions will help determine the strength of the office market’s rebound.

For now, the national average full-service equivalent listing rate fell 11 cents in November from the previous month to $38 per square foot. The national vacancy rate increased 40 basis points to 13.8%.

“Many in the commercial office sector expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will reverse the longterm trend of densification and urbanization, leading to a rebirth of the suburban office,” states the report. “While it may be a long time before we know exactly how the coronavirus shifted the preferences of the modern worker, there were signs the suburbs were primed for a comeback before this year.”

One hint that this shift back to the suburbs was already underway before COVID can be found in Austin, the hottest market for new development. Despite the current concentration of properties under construction in the urban center, the vast majority of Austin’s planned stock (77%) is in suburban submarkets, and most projects were planned before developers became concerned that the pandemic would shift attitudes around density.

Gain all the insight in the December National Office Report from the research experts at CommercialEdge. CommercialEdge provides extensive property data that includes transaction, ownership and debt information, offering nationwide coverage across all commercial real estate asset types. Use the platform to uncover vital market data and get insights with the latest lease and sale listings.

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