KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Rents remained strong in the top U.S. office markets in the fourth quarter, with half the markets we track continuing to see growth in rates.
  • The cyclical slowdown continued, with more than half the markets seeing an increase in vacancy.
  • Construction activity is easing and increasingly led by build-to-suit projects.
  • Despite a flat vacancy rate, New York performed strongly throughout 2016, recording its second-highest annual leasing total in the past 10 years.
  • The San Francisco Bay Area remains the tightest of the top 10 markets with a 5.6% vacancy rate. In core Silicon Valley markets, vacancy is as low as 2%.
  • Fueled by Amazon and other tech giants, Seattle showed the greatest improvement among the top 10 markets. Houston looks to be stabilizing after its prolonged downturn following the energy crisis.