Leasing, construction, vacancy – the latest from Houston’s office market

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July 9, 2018

By: Ronnie Deyo, executive vice president and office team lead, JLL Houston

Houston’s office market faced all-too-familiar headwinds of low leasing activity, rising vacancy, and softening rental rates during the second quarter of 2018. Despite a few signs of improving conditions earlier this year, the market has a long way to go before it regains equilibrium.

Here’s a look at where Houston’s office market stands today.

office leasing


A lack of growth in leasing demand continues to besiege the office market. The second quarter saw only 19 transactions greater than 20,000 square feet and only three of those represented growing tenant footprints. Since the close of 2014, Houston office leasing activity has surpassed 4 million square feet on two occasions. In contrast, from the third quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2014, office leasing activity surpassed 4 million square feet every quarter.

office leasing


In terms of new development, 2018 is on course to be the market’s lightest year since 2010. The market has seen 176,000 square feet of new deliveries year-to-date and only 503,000 square feet in total are expected to deliver in 2018.

office leasing


Total office vacancy has increased for 14 consecutive quarters from 13.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 24.5 percent today, the highest level in recent history. Houston’s Greenspoint submarket continues to have the highest total vacancy rate at 53.6 percent, while the Medical Center stands in stark contrast at just 8.8 percent total vacancy.

View our full Q2 2018 office market report here.

Read more about our office report in CoStar News.

About the Author

Ronnie Deyo is an Executive Vice President/International Director at JLL, where he serves as the leader of JLL Houston’s Office Tenant Representation group. During his 30-year career in commercial real estate, Ronnie has represented some of the most recognizable corporations including AON, KPMG, Morgan Stanley and The Williams Companies. Connect with Ronnie on LinkedIn.