Office market continued to struggle in Q4, CBRE report says

Office leasing in New Jersey continued to slump in the fourth quarter, according to the latest New Jersey Office MarketView report from CBRE.

The real estate firm said the surge in COVID-19 cases and the deteriorating economy kept the real estate sector on its descending trajectory in Q4. Office leasing saw just 909,000 square feet of activity in the period, 27% lower than the previous quarter. That meant office leasing for the year finished at 3.51 million square feet, 47% below the five-year average.

In addition, the market saw just 296,000 square feet worth of renewals in the quarter, down from 2 million square feet in Q3.

“New Jersey’s office market has not been immune to the global pandemic and subsequent economic decline,” CBRE Executive Vice President Ed DaCosta said in a prepared statement.

The market also saw a fourth consecutive quarter of negative net absorption, with a record low of 2.5 million square feet recorded in Q4. The availability rate of 22.4% also rose significantly year-over-year and set a new record.

Rent pricing held steady, however, as asking rents reached $27.37 per square foot, up 3.2% from the end of 2019.

The market saw $420.6 million in sales, down from $605.3 million in Q3, but the average price of $175 per square foot was 6.4% higher than the previous quarter.