National office vacancy rate rises to 12 percent

January 08, 2002 |

The third quarter of 2001 saw another sharp increase in metropolitan (downtown and suburban) office vacancies, according to data from the most recent survey conducted by commercial brokerage and research firm CB Richard Ellis. Following an increase of 1.3 percentage point between the first and second quarters of last year, the national average office vacancy rate rose another 1.7 percentage point during the July-September period of 2001.

The Q3-2001 level of downtown vacancies in office buildings was 2.1 percentage points greater than during the second quarter of last year, and 3.8 percentage points higher than during the third quarter of 2000. Suburban vacancy rates moved up 1.5 percentage point over the quarter, and remained well above the downtown level. The nation's suburban vacancy rate during the third quarter of 2001 came in at 13 percent, or 4.4 percentage points higher than during the same three months of 2000.

The tightest office markets among major metropolitan areas nationwide during the third quarter of 2001 were Washington, D.C. (3.5 percent), Oakland (8.3 percent) and Manhattan (9 percent). Major market areas of the country that recorded office vacancy rates about half-again as high as the national average during the third quarter of last year included Columbus (20.2 percent), Dallas/Ft. Worth (19.2 percent), Indianapolis (17.6 percent), Orlando (17.6 percent) and Jacksonville (17.5 percent).

Downtown and suburban office vacancies continued to rise during the third quarter of 2001

(Office Vacancy Rate, national averages)

                    Downtown              Suburban           Total Metro Area

Q3-2000           6.2                              8.6                             7.7

Q2-2001          8.3                             11.5                           10.3

Q3-2001           10.4                           13.0                           12.0

Source: CB Richard Ellis


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