U.S. office vacancy rate rises marginally in third quarter

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(Reuters) – The U.S. office vacancy rate rose marginally to 16.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.

Of the 79 metropolitan areas covered by Reis, 29 showed a rise in vacancies in the quarter.

“Office occupancy growth has been sluggish throughout this expansion as firms have leased far fewer square feet per added job than in previous cycles,” according to the report.

New construction of office spaces declined to 4.4 million square feet from 9.4 million a year earlier.

“The news on the office market has not generated headlines, but growth remains positive and should remain positive this year and next,” Reis said.

Net absorption, measured in terms of available office space sold in the market during a certain time period, fell 9.5% to 4.5 million square feet of office space in the quarter.

Both average asking and effective rents rose about 2.6% from the year-earlier quarter.

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