Office Market Can’t Escape its Limbo

It remains an uncertain time in the U.S. office market. That’s because whenever companies appear ready to bring their workers back to the office during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new variant — first it was Delta, now it is Omicron – halts their plans.

That has left the office market in limbo for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest research from CommercialEdge, this isn’t about to change anytime soon.

In its December National Office Report, CommercialEdge reported that in November, the U.S. average office vacancy rate hit 15.2 percent. That is a rise of 140 basis points during the past year, but also a fall of 40 basis points in the last six months.

Office rents have stagnated, too. CommercialEdge reported that across the country, listing rates for office space averaged $38.62 a square foot in November. Average asking rents were up by 1.2 percent year-over-year. This number remained unchanged compared to the previous month.

Office transactions completed through the end of November came out to $68.8 billion, according to CommercialEdge. This means that transaction volume in 2021 has already surpassed last year’s total volume by 11 percent.

The average sale price rose to an all-time high this year, reaching $291 a square foot in November.