Thanks to Office, DFW to Hit Third Consecutive Quarter of Positive Net Absorption

Dallas-Fort Worth is proving itself to be one of the hottest markets in all areas of CRE. And right now, the numbers are pointing toward a third consecutive quarter of positive net absorption for the first time since 2018.

That’s according to CBRE’s DFW Q2 Office Market Report. In fact, Dallas’ numbers are trending up in nearly every regard.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2022, reported the national unemployment rate as 3.6%, maintaining the same level in April 2022. DFW’s unemployment rate during the same period was 3.3%, and Dallas has increased its number of non-farm jobs by 7.7% — nearly 300,000 — year-over-year.

Vacancy continued to drop and stood at 24.4%, down by 70 basis points from Q1 2022, marking yet another decline in vacancy and the longest streak since 2019, Deliveries were up 76.1% from 327,400 square feet to 576,550 square feet in Q2 2022 due to the recent completion of The Epic — Phase II and the PGA of America HQ.

Office in and around DFW continues to show signs of recovery, comparable to that of Boston, Manhattan and Houston due to ever-growing tenant requirements and competitive leasing activity, based on the report. The submarket has seen many new projects this year and quite a few are expected to break ground in the coming months.

One of the largest projects to break ground in Q2 was 2323Springs in Uptown for 622,452 square feet. Quoted face rates increased from $30.93 gross per square foot to $31.23 gross per square foot with Far North Dallas and Richardson/Plano leading the charge. Sublease availability rose to 9.4 million square feet, representing over 4% of total inventory and 14.7% of total availability with Class-A properties, making up roughly 72% of all sublease listings.

Simply, DFW’s office rebound is one of the best in the U.S. This much is clear. Still, CBRE Econometric Advisors have expressed concern about the current effects of inflation on the real estate market and advise businesses to tread, still, with caution.

“Our baseline view expects the Fed will be able to restrain inflation to roughly seven percent by year-end,” CBRE stated. “The labor market will also soften, with the unemployment rate increasing to the mid-four-percent range. Once inflation is tamed, both capital and real estate markets should become more predictable again.”

There will continue to be a flight to quality where newer, highly amenitized renovated buildings will have the most activity. Other projects will continue experiencing lower rent growth and shorter lease terms for new and renewing tenants. That said, CBRE said DFW should be able to sustain healthy fundamentals due to its stable local economy and unwavering demand.