Columbus office market report
Columbus’ regional economy has rebounded well after the initial effects COVID has had on the market with low unemployment rate, high vaccination rates and strong employment growth. Overall vacancy has increased in both downtown and in the suburbs as Companies are continuing to evaluate their real estate needs and balance hybrid work models.
Columbus’s unemployment rate as of October 2021 has dipped below the height of the financial crisis and recorded lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Columbus proportionate vaccination rates are slightly trailing the U.S. averages, an important metric as different variant stands emerge and COVID cases increasing.
A total of -1.5 msf of negative absorption was recorded from 2020 through Q4 2021 representing -2.6% of existing inventory within the Columbus office market. Tenants have been downsizing their space requirements by approximately 30-40% due to the number of employees working remotely and the need to right size their footprint.
Of office space currently under development is available for lease, demonstrating strong pre-leasing activity within the market. Most of the office buildings under construction are on the larger size ranging between 100,000 to 250,000 sf.
Base rents within class B office buildings are getting discounted rents as landlords are feeling the pressure to lease space as vacancy continues to increase at a rapid rate.
Columbus office investment activity remained consistent throughout the pandemic with a total of $562M from 2020 through 2021.
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