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An increase in office-using employment has positive implications for office space demand, says Transwestern

Houston Office Vacancies Hit Four-Decade High

Fundamentals for Houston office further weakened in the fourth quarter, ending 2020 at 22% direct vacancy, the highest since the 1980s, Madison Marquette says in its latest report. With negative absorption of nearly 3.9 million square feet since Q4 2019 and 1.4 million square feet of new product, vacancies rose 240 basis points year over year.

“Houston’s office market was struggling amid a glut of available space even before the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus,” said Madison Marquette’s Wade Bowlin.

“Even though many companies have been able to quickly adapt by taking their workforce remotely and encounter little disruption to their everyday operations, this doesn’t mean this physical workplace shift won’t eventually be felt in the office market in the long-term as companies either reduce or expand their footprints.”

That being said, a reversal of densification within workplaces may create a need for more office space, says Madison Marquette.

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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