3rd Quarter Office Market Report Update for Greater Reading

Suburban overview

The greater Reading suburban office market ended the second quarter of 2015 with a vacancy rate for Class A, or highest quality, office buildings at 10.93 percent, which includes existing and proposed sites. The vacancy rate for only existing Class A office buildings is 4.57 percent.

This is a decrease in vacancy rates from the end of first quarter this year and a decrease from the same period in 2014, which was at 13.55 percent. The average rental rates      remained unchanged at $17.50 to $22.50 per square foot modified gross (in which the tenant pays the base rent and the landlord covers all costs relating to property + operations), which is a decrease in the rates from the same period of 2014.

The Class B suburban office market ended the first quarter with a vacancy rate of 18.40 percent for existing and proposed sites. The vacancy rate for only existing Class B  Office buildings is 16.19 percent. This is a slight increase in vacancy rates from the end of the first quarter 2015, and it is a decrease from the same period in 2014. The average  rental rates remained unchanged at $12.50 to $15.50 per square foot modified gross from the end of the first quarter 2015 to the end of the second quarter of 2015. That is a  larger decrease from the same period in 2014, when average rental rates were $12.50 to $17.50 per square foot.

The Class C suburban office market ended the second quarter of 2015 with a vacancy rate of 13.97 percent, which is a slight decrease from the same period in 2014 and the  previous quarter.

The outlook for the office market sector going into the third quarter of 2015 is very optimistic, because of the high level of continued interest in the marketplace. Various deals that are finalized were completed in the beginning of the third quarter, including an 18,000-square-foot lease on Berkshire Boulevard, which could help third quarter numbers.

The opinions in the next two paragraphs are from the first quarter of 2015 and remain unchanged:

Cap rates for investment-grade office buildings remain low because of attractive financing. The most important variables are length of leases, credit of tenant(s), type of lease and type of asset (such as single tenant, multi-tenant, medical or back office).Overall activity continues to come from within the local marketplace. The majority of the transactions taking place are companies that already call greater Reading home.

However, most of these deals have resulted in larger footprints and longer commitments.

 

Downtown overview

The greater Reading downtown office market ended the second quarter of 2015 with a vacancy rate for Class A office buildings at 22.63 percent. It was a slight decrease in rates from the end of the first quarter of 2015. The average rental rates remained unchanged from the first quarter of 2015 through the second quarter of 2015 at $11 per square foot modified gross to $14.50 per square foot modified gross.

The reason for the slight decrease in vacancy rates is because of the new location of a 11,000-square-foot tenant at 501 Washington St. and expansion of various tenants throughout the marketplace. The Class A market noticed a benefit of the expansion of the large lease completed in the first quarter of 2015. However, Class B space is feeling the effect into the second quarter of 2015 because of the large vacancy that was created by the move.

The Class B downtown office market ended the second quarter of 2015 with a vacancy rate of 23.10 percent. This was an increase in vacancy rates from the end of first quarter 2015, and it was a smaller increase from the same period in 2014. The average rental rates remained unchanged at $7.50 per square foot modified gross at the end of the second quarter to $11 per square foot modified gross. This is similar to the rates from the same period in 2014. Overall vacancy rates for Class C buildings remained unchanged at 23.62 percent.

 

Bryan Cole is the real estate office and medical specialist of NAI Keystone Commercial and Industrial LLC. The website is www.Bryan-Cole.com. – See more at: http://readingeagle.com/business-weekly/article/office-space-vacancy-rates-decrease-from-1st-quarter-and-from-second-quarter-of-2014#sthash.Aq2nFSP1.dpuf

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