Colliers International: St. Louis office market continues slow recovery

Colliers International painted a picture of a recovering St. Louis office market.

Colliers International painted a picture of a recovering St. Louis office market.

by Dan Rafter

The good news from the fourth-quarter 2013 St. Louis office report from Colliers International? Office vacancies are falling across the St. Louis market. The bad news? Those vacancies are still too high.

Colliers reported that the overall St. Louis office market ended 2013 with a vacancy rate of 11.6 percent. That might seem high, but it is lower than the 12.6 percent office vacancy rate that St. Louis saw at the end of 2012.

And, as Colliers reports, Class-A office vacancy rates here have fallen for six consecutive quarters. The Class-A vacancy rate stood at 10.1 percent at the end of 2013.

In bad news, the Class-C office market continues to struggle in St. Louis, with Colliers reporting that this sector suffered a vacancy rate of 11.6 percent at the end of 2013, up 2.3 points from the end of 2012.

There was plenty of good news from individual submarkets, though. Colliers reported that the Creve Coeur/Westport submarket enjoyed a rebound year in 2013. This market reported 181,600 square feet of positive office absorption throughout the year. That compares favorably to the 216,400 square feet of negative absorption in this submarket for 2012.

The North County submarket was St. Louis’ best office performer in 2013, with 411,712 square feet of positive absorption, most of it in Class-B space, Colliers reported.

The West County submarket saw the best year-over-year office performance in the St. Louis region. The office vacancy rate dropped 8.3 percent in this submarket at the end of 2013. At the end of 2012, the office vacancy rate here stood at 11.8 percent, 3.5 points higher.

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