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Richmond | 21Q1 Office Research and Forecast Report

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2021 Kicks off with a steady increase in activity

  • There has appeared to be more willingness from tenants to make commitments, as movement was lacking throughout 2020. Increasing market activity is fueling hope for a market rebound in 2021.

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Richmond’s office market materialized during Q1 as Richmond’s previously stable fundamentals have waned in every category. Asking rental rates decreased 2.2% quarter-over-quarter at $20.84 per square foot, with every submarket experiencing a decrease. The Northwest quadrant was hit the hardest with Q1 closing at $20.02 per square foot, a 3.1% decrease since Q4. Vacancy rates increased 65 basis points (bps) to 11.58%. Net absorption has also been impacted with Q1 closing with 191,141 square feet of negative net absorption. This can be partially attributed to Nationwide vacating approximately 40,000 square feet of space at Boulders IV. Additionally, Magellan Medicaid downsized in January, leaving 42,000 square feet vacant at SunTrust Center Two.

  • Despite data showing signs of distress in the market, activity has seen a large increase over the quarter. This is most evident in Richmond’s suburban market, in which user demand grew 71.5% quarter-over-quarter to 693,000 square feet. This figure represents 68% of total user demand in Q1.

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Richmond | 21Q1 Office Research and Forecast Report

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