by Dan Rafter
The U.S. office market in 2015 saw its best year for demand since 2006, according to the fourth quarter office-market report recently released by Cushman & Wakefield.
According to the report, net absorption in the U.S. office market hit 21.3 million square feet in the fourth quarter of last year. For all of 2015, net absorption in this sector came in at 81.7 million square feet, making last year the besdt for net absorption since 2006, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
One of the stronger office markets in the fourth quarter? Cushman & Wakefield pointed to Chicago, which absorbed 3.4 million square feet of office space.
Vacancy rates fell across the nation, too, falling to 13.9 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s down from 14.7 percent one year earlier. Vacancy rates were even lower in Central Business Districts, with the overall U.S. vacancy rate in these urban centers falling to 11.7 percent last year, down from 12.7 percent a year earlier.
Office rents are rising, too, as would be expected. Cushman & Wakefield reported that average asking office rents ended the year at $28.15 a square foot, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.
Several Midwest markets saw plenty of office absorption in the fourth quarter. In Cincinnati, for example, Cushman & Wakefield reported that the office sector had net absorption of 372,091 square feet, a big jump from the 122,270 square feet this market absorbed in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Also in Ohio, Cleveland absorbed 301,092 square feet of office space in the fourth quarter compared to 104,842 square feet in the fourth quarter of 2014.