Life Science Hubs Lead New Office Starts
Some 26.5 million square feet of new office space have broken ground year-to-date in June, according to the latest Yardi Matrix office report.
- Direct asking office rents averaged $37.58 per square foot in June, down 260 basis points from the same period last year.
- Office vacancy was 15.2 percent across the top 50 U.S. office markets.
- The under-construction pipeline included 151.7 million square feet of office space at the end of June.
- Office transaction volume nationwide totaled $43.7 billion year-to-date in June, while the average price per square foot clocked in at $272 per square foot.
National average full-service equivalent listing rates were at $37.58 per square foot in June, down 260 basis points on a year-over-year basis. Office vacancy nationwide continued its recent downward trajectory, clocking in at 15.2 percent in June, down 20 basis points compared to May and up 20 basis points from the same period last year. Boasting a 9.6 percent office vacancy rate, Boston was the only gateway market with a vacancy below the 10 percent mark. The strong life sciences sector within the region positioned the market in front of Manhattan (13.9 percent vacancy), Los Angeles (13.1 percent) or Miami (12.9 percent).
Some 151.7 million square feet of office space was under construction across the nation at the end of June, accounting for 2.2 percent of total stock. Some of the largest pipelines were found in Manhattan (20.8 million square feet under construction) and Boston (12.6 million), while Austin (8.4 million square feet, 9.4 percent of existing stock), Nashville (4.4 million, 7.5 percent) and Miami (5.6 million, 7.4 percent) led construction activity on a percentage of stock basis.
Despite economic headwinds, 26.5 million square feet of new office space have broken ground year-to-date as of June. Space was distributed unevenly, and the top 10 markets for starts accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total, or 17.2 million square feet. Sun Belt markets such as Dallas (3.8 million square feet), Austin (2.7 million) and Charlotte (2.0 million) led the way in this sense, alongside life science markets including the Bay Area (2.3 million) and Boston (1.6 million).
Transactions hot in tech-centric markets
Office transaction volume in the first half of 2022 came in at $43.7 billion nationwide. Office assets changed hands at an average of $272 per square foot at the end of June, with San Francisco ($920), Manhattan ($880 per square foot), Seattle ($649) and the Bay Area ($511 per square foot) posting the highest average sale prices across the nation.
The share of sales volume in gateway markets decreased from 41.5 percent in 2018 to 32.0 percent in 2022. Investment activity was concentrated in non-gateway life science markets with a strong tech footprint such as the Bay Area ($2.6 billion), Seattle ($2.3 billion), Denver ($2.2 billion) and San Diego ($931 million).
Read the full Matrix Office National Report-July 2022