Houston office market reports

Q1 2023

Houston’s metro economy has performed quite well with 137k jobs created over the trailing 12 months ending February 2023, while unemployment remains near historic lows. Office-using jobs have remarkably grown by 5.6% with 40,600 new positions added over the period. However, office market fundamentals remain soft as there remains a disconnect between office-using job growth and space demand as flexible work has changed how companies and employees use office space.

Even though the office sector continues to experience softness with a significant amount of availability, trophy and class A+ properties continue to outperform the broader market. With modest construction underway and flight-to-quality a key trend, leasing activity has been primarily concentrated in highly amenitized, class A assets as tenants gravitate to better quality space to ensure the luxuries employees experienced while working from home also exist in the office as more companies return to the office.

-148k sf

Negative absorption persists but vacancy near stabilization

The office market posted 148k square feet (sf) of negative absorption in the first quarter of 2023 as companies reduced their physical footprint, causing vacancy to rise to 26.9% hitting its highest level on record. However, there are signs of stabilization as vacancy has experienced its slowest annual increase since the oil bust emerged in 2015.


Class A direct vacancy for product built since 2010

Despite the pullback in absorption, trophy and class A+ buildings continue to outperform the broader market and capture a larger share of the demand. For instance, the direct vacancy rate for trophy assets stands at 16% while new class A product built since 2010 is 11.6%.

2.6 msf

Leasing activity improvement driven by class A sector

Office leasing activity has continued to gain traction with 2.6 msf leased in the first quarter of 2023. Even though office leasing activity experienced a temporary pullback during the first quarter compared to a year ago, the class A sector continues to account for a large share of the leasing demand with 10 msf leased over the trailing 12 months, up 35.4% year over year.

Download the 2023 Q1 Houston Office Market Report

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Get in-depth office market reports and insights from commercial real estate experts in the Greater Houston area. Avison Young advisors look at Houston commercial real estate activities and the latest Houston statistics to provide you expert market research on Houston's office properties.

Explore different topics like the latest office market pricing trends and analysis of Houston's current office real estate market conditions. Gain a better understanding of Houston’s office real estate outlook and stay ahead of current office space trends. Make smart decisions when it comes to investing in office properties in Houston's competitive office real estate market. Avison Young is your trusted source for commercial real estate office market insights in Houston.

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