CBRE Q1 report: Life sciences, law firms boost N.J.’s office leasing activity

Bolstered by a high amount of new office lease activity by life sciences companies and law firms, the first quarter of 2019 was off to a positive start, according to a new CBRE report.

CBRE said the market hit its strongest of record in the first quarter since 2014: 1.5 million square feet of total leasing activity, up 38% over the same period last year.

Another strong mark was the availability rate, which has trended down since 2016. CBRE said it ended the first quarter at 20.1%, 30 basis points below the fourth quarter of 2018 and 110 bps below the second quarter of last year.

“Life sciences companies and law firms largely sustained the New Jersey office market in the first quarter,” Adam Englander, senior vice president, CBRE, said. “In addition, capital investment continues to drive rental growth and leasing activity. Owners who have invested wisely are experiencing positive results from base building and amenity upgrades, as they capture improved leasing activity.”

The report said despite strong leasing and a declining availability rate, the market posted 150,000 square feet of negative absorption.

In addition, after having two consecutive months of increased numbers, asking rents fell by $0.24 per-square-foot quarter-over-quarter to $26.21, the same as the first quarter of 2018.

To view the full report, click click here.

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