Cushman & Wakefield: U.S. office market improving … slowly

The office market is improving -- slowly.

The office market is improving — slowly.

by Dan Rafter

The U.S. office market continues to show signs of life. Improvements, though, aren’t happening quite as fast as we’d all like.

The latest evidence for this comes from Cushman & Wakefield, which recently released its fourth quarter stats for the U.S. office market.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, the U.S. office market saw 19.5 million square feet of activity during the fourth quarter of 2013. That’s the highest quarterly jump in a year, according to the report.

Overall, the U.S. Central Business District office market saw 68.1 million square feet leased during all of 2013. The year saw an additional 137.8 million square feet of suburban leasing activity.

Five office markets last quarter saw leasing activity rise past 1 million square feet. One of those was here in the Midwest, Chicago. In the Chicago market 1.3 million square feet of office leases closed during the quarter.

In some not-so-good news, the overall office vacancy rate for Central Business Districts across the United States rose to 13.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared with 31.1 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

Rental rates, though, did increase. According to Cushman & Wakefield, overall office rental rates for the country rose 7 percent in 2013 to $41.74 when compared to 2012.

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