Unchartered Waters Ahead in the Face of Covid-19 Following Solid Office Market Performance in 2019

by | 20 April 2020

While 2019 proved to be a solid year for the U.S. office market, attention is now focused on the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector. Our latest research report — The Q4 2019 Office Market Outlook Report — looks at the issues and implications for the office sector arising from the pandemic, while also providing a recap of U.S. office market performance in 2019.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Vacancy at historic lows: U.S. office vacancy trended down in 2019 to end the year at a new record low.
  • Rents move up: Average office rents rose modestly in 2019, led by the Class A central business district (CBD) segment. Some markets set record highs on prime Class A space and new construction.
  • Absorption lower but still healthy: Net absorption for 2019 was down from 2018 but volumes remain respectable. Tech firms continue to drive the greatest occupancy gains.
  • Record construction and still rising: Completions increased this year after slowing in 2018. 2017 remains the peak year for new supply thus far in this cycle but the pipeline continues to expand.
  •  Healthy investor interest: Transaction action activity appears to be plateauing but remains robust. Both sales volume and prices rose in 2019 while cap rates edged down.

For more details on the latest office trends, download the Q4 2019 U.S. Office Market Outlook. Be sure to also explore the Q4 2019 update to Your Market Insights Hub | U.S. Office, which presents the latest data and forecasts in a detailed, interactive format – including a new metro map feature.