Office Vacancy Steady in April, Rents Up Slightly: Yardi Matrix

By Michael Tucker

Despite steadily growing new office supply, robust absorption held the sector's vacancy rate steady at 13.7 percent in April, said Yardi Matrix, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Transwestern, Houston, reported first-quarter office leasing activity was 1.5 million square feet higher than one year ago but has slowed since 2016.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. economy grew 3.2 percent in the first quarter, the highest first-quarter growth in four years. Employment grew at a healthy pace as the economy added 541,000 jobs through April, boosting office usage.

U.S. office asking rents increased 1.1 percent in April over the previous three-month period to $36.40 per square foot, the Yardi Matrix May National Office Report said. It noted 19 of the 25 largest markets studied saw gains over the last three months; only six declined. A handful of markets, led by Austin, Texas, saw "outsize" asking rents increases, Yardi said.

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