Office absorption numbers turn positive during third quarter

In a promising development for the office real estate sector, Colliers has revealed that, per its third-quarter data, a majority of metro office markets nationwide are now seeing positive absorption.

Fifty-six percent of office markets logged positive absorption in the third quarter of 2021, Stephen Newbold, national director of office research for Colliers International, reported on the company’s website. That’s up from 33% in the second quarter.

There’s more good news: On a national level, net office absorption was at 3.2 million square feet during the third quarter, marking the first time since the first quarter of last year that the national office market logged positive absorption. Absorption had been trending positively since hitting -46.1 million square feet, the worst quarterly total ever recorded, in this year’s first quarter.

Over the past five quarters, the national office market has now seen 153.1 million square feet of negative absorption, but with the entry back into positive territory during Q3, the office sector is continuing to see signs of promising footing.

Three markets tracked by Colliers posted more than one million square feet of positive net absorption during the third quarter, led by Atlanta with just over 2 million square feet. Over three-quarters of that addition came in the city’s Midtown commercial area via companies taking occupancy of newly completed properties. The South Florida area, which includes the three counties surrounding Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, saw almost two million square feet of absorption, driven by nearly 860,000 square feet in Miami alone.

New York City posted net absorption of 1.3 million square feet, including more than 870,000 square feet of positive absorption in Manhattan — a big turnaround for the borough, which last experienced positive office absorption two years ago.


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