#ColumbiaAgenda: Office Jobs Remain Flat, Midlands Give Record, New Tea Shop Near USC, Dick Harpootlian, Carolina Panthers, The Dawn of Robotic Bees Sniffing Shark Vomit
Apr 12, 2019 10:25AM
● By Chris Haire
Office-using jobs remain flat in Columbia MSA: The Columbia office market is showing signs of sluggishness after office-using jobs peaked two years ago, but the city has many attractive factors that bode well for the future, according to the first quarter commercial real estate report from Colliers International.
Despite negative absorption, the report cites low unemployment -- 3.1 percent as of December 2018 -- along with a strong business climate and regional investment as plusses. The report also notes another positive sign: rising rental rates.
“With the continual rise in construction costs as a deterring factor, the cost to construct a new office building does not provide the returns to entice investors,” the report states, and the rental rates for newly constructed space would need to be much higher than current market rates.
However, high-quality space is in short supply, leading owners to continue raising rates. The average weighted rental rates for available office space increased from $17.36 per square foot in Q4 2018 to $17.73 per square foot in Q1 2019.
While 7,300 jobs have been added, no office-using jobs -- those in the professional and businesses services, financial activities and information sectors -- have been added since December 2017 in the Columbia Metro Statistical Area.
“Instead of tenants in the market demanding expansion space, they have a desire to downsize as office-using jobs decrease,” according to the report.
The largest sale was $14.18 million, which MBRE Healthcare paid for a 42,295-square-foot office on Forest Drive. --Leigh Savage***
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