The South Office Area (SOA) vacancy rate increased from 6.3% to 11.4%, the largest increase in vacancy of the eight submarkets in our survey. (+5.1%)
Twenty-one SOA buildings increased in vacancy, including five buildings with 10,000 square feet higher vacancy than in 2019 and two buildings with 30,000 square feet higher vacancy than in 2019. There were fewer new prospects for the SOA market, with a notable decrease in demand for large blocks of office space. Swisher brokers suspect that the SOA experienced a typical amount of attrition in 2020, common in any year in any market, but that the SOA did not experience the typical back-fill by new office tenants, thus resulting in the sizable net loss of occupants in the SOA. What is yet to be seen in the SOA, as in all sub-markets, is whether the pandemic-driven move to have employees work from home will have long-term effects on office space consumption and consequently affect the vacancy rate.