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US office vacancy rate lowest since 2009

[WASHINGTON] The US office vacancy rate fell to 16.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from 16.8 in the third, the lowest since the third quarter of 2009, research firm Reis Inc said.

Greater declines can be expected in 2015 if job gains continue to accelerate, Ryan Severino, the firm's senior economist, said in a statement on Sunday.

Washington, DC remained the tightest market, with a vacancy rate of 9.2 per cent. New York followed at 9.5 per cent.

Net absorption of nearly 11 million square feet of office space in the fourth quarter was the highest since the third quarter of 2007, before the recession, Mr Severino said.

About 7.27 million square feet of new space came into the market in the latest quarter, while asking and effective rents increased by 1.0 and 1.1 per cent respectively.

"We should expect only a modest increase in rent growth in 2015 due to the still-elevated vacancy rate," Mr Severino said.


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