Los Angeles Office Market Has Best Quarter in Nearly a Decade

Original source: http://www.losangelesofficespace.net/los-angeles-office-market-continues-hot-streak/

The LA office market has been hot lately, posting its best quarter since the financial crisis. Two of the biggest drivers of this growth have been entertainment companies and tech firms, which continue to expand at an impressive rate.

Veteran developers who have been building in the area for decades find themselves working extensively on office projects, citing the growth and opportunity they are providing. Buoyed by large office leases from companies such as City National Bank, Warner Music Group, and Kite Pharma, 2.1 million square feet of office space was absorbed in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties during one quarter, the most in one quarter since 2000.

The 2.1 million square feet figure comes from the change in occupied office space between the amounts of space leased compared to vacated, and is a measure often used to determine how well the real estate market is doing in a particular area. This change has increased the development of office spaces, as developers see the potential for markets. For example, the developer of projects such as the Water Garden in Santa Monica is currently working on three separate projects which are worth $500 million altogether.

One interesting dynamic is that the increased demand could mean that landlords will wield more power when the time comes to negotiate leases with tenants who are in particularly popular areas and neighborhoods. All of this activity in Los Angeles comes in contrast to many major cities through the country which have seen office markets slow.

Because Los Angeles was a little slower to recover from the recession, a bevy of new local businesses or either being formed or expanded, causing this high level of demand and activity. This growth mode means many are preparing for a strong year both in leasing and sales.

The biggest driver of the office market boom in recent months has come from the entertainment sector, with web-based companies such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon entering the market to create new shows and productions. They are joined by other media companies like Youtube, Snapchat, and BuzzFeed who all seek to create news and entertainment for their users. These types of companies have been especially drawn to area in Hollywood, Playa Vista, Santa Monica, and Venice.

What has resulted is a mix of Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, with these tech companies seek to start and expand the media content of their businesses. Included in new tenants in the area are companies such as Broad Green Pictures and Formosa Group, both of which are in the entertainment sector.

Another area that has seen a big boom is in Santa Monica, which has traditionall been a major hub for tech in Los Angelees. It is one of the most expensive areas in the city with landlords asking for $5.61 per square foot per month, but still accounted for a quarter of all of the absorption in Los Angeles. This $5.61 figure is up from $5.43 last quarter, an 18 cent growth.

As a whole, the vacancy rate in Los Angeles dropped to 13.3%, nearly 2 percentage points lower than a year before. Meanwhile, average asking prices for rents increased by 5 cents over that time, up to an average of $2.94 a square foot per month. In Downtown Los Angeles, vacancy rates sit at 16.8%, which is down almost 1 percent from the year before, while asking price for rents increased by 3 cents per square foot.

The areas that experienced the great activity for both leases and increases in rent were in western Los Angeles County, with cities such as Playa Vista, El Segundo, and Culver City.

Many experts are projecting a strong 2017 but a relative lull in 2018 and 2019. This is due to it being a full decade since the financial crisis, which slowed the market down. It is common for large leases to last for ten years, which means that fewer leases than normal will be hitting the market during 2018 and 2019, because less leases were being signed a decade ago.

However, that hasn’t slowed developers down, as there is about 2.2 million square feet of office space under construction across Los Angeles. The biggest area of growth is in Hollywood, which is seeing almost 600,000 square feet of office space being built. Developers are eager to cash in on the strong demand and increased rents being charged across the city.

Beverly Hils Office Space Demand is improving in 2015

Published December 12, 2015 | By Beverly Hills Office Space

image003The market for office space in San Diego are seeing a spike in leasing activity in 2015, as tenants lease more space to house the growing San Diego workforce.

As brought up in a recent article published on Dec. 1, 2014 from the SD Tribune, Offices set to go ‘Robust’ in 2015, By Roger Showley, many San Diego businesses are becoming more profitable. “Consequently, their staff count has risen, on average, by 12 percent. This equates to companies outgrowing their current space and requiring more space. As Tenants leases expire, companies in San Diego will soon be requiring larger space.'”

“January through October 2014 nationally, 679,000 office jobs were added, equating to a space need of 120-140 million square feet. But the actual leases will take down only a projected 65 million square feet this year. If job numbers hold up and leases start to be signed to accommodate more bodies, “net absorption will go from modest to robust in 2015.”

“For all its challenges, the office sector has slowly been tightening for four straight years,” he said, “and 2015 will be the first year where vacancy falls below its pre-recession average.”

Jobs are key, and they are growing in particular sectors, such as health care. Kaiser Permanente is expected to increase its office space to about 100,000 square feet in Mission Valley and Sharp Healthcare wants to build its own building of about 120,000 square feet in Rancho Bernardo.”

As for lab space, San Diego’s fastest growing business sector, industrial building owners in Sorrento Valley are converting their obsolete industrial spaces into Class “A” lab space suitable for high end bio-tech users.

This year alone, rental rates are projected to increase by 7% – 10%, and continue to do so year-to-year.

In San Diego, the fundamentals are all here, a highly educated employment base and a highly desirable business location, rental rates are bound to climb.

Beverly Hills Q1 2016 Office Market Update

The most expensive class A market for office space in Los Angeles County is Beverly Hills, according to a report by NGKF and confirmed by Beverly Hills Office Spaces own agents.. At the end of the first quarter 2016, the asking rate was $5.42 per square foot per month, slightly ahead of Santa Monica, which was asking $5.12/square foot.

In its peak in 2008, overall asking rent in Beverly Hills was $4.45 per square foot per month, meaning that the current rates are 12.4 percent higher than they were then. For comparison, the West Los Angeles market as a whole is just 0.2 percent above its 2008 peak.

In the first quarter, vacancy rates did climb from 6.5 percent up to 7.1 percent, a growth of 60 basis points. However, that 7.1 percent is still one of the lowest vacancy rates in Los Angeles, especially on the Western side of the county.

There was a net absorption of negative 14,804 square feet, which was the largest new occupancy loss in one quarter for Beverly Hills since 2012. This is not offset by any new construction that occurred in the first quarter of the year.

We also did not see any major leases being signed in the current market, with the biggest being the 5,898 square foot lease signed by United Talent Agency, for their space located at 9336 Civic Center Drive. The next largest was Cellar of Beverly Hills, which signed a lease on a 5,576 square foot space located at 9250 Wilshire Boulevard.

Photo credit: Flickr user Skinny Lawyer

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