Fourth-Quarter Office Vacancy Rate is Still High, as Companies Do More With Less Space

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Although United States companies are hiring more employees and the labor force has finally surpassed its pre-recession peak, the vacancy rate for office space stood at 16.7 percent in the fourth quarter, down only slightly from 16.9 percent a year earlier. 

This slow office recovery is due to a number of reasons, including companies’ wishes to cut costs by not taking up additional space unless it is absolutely necessary, and shifting workstyles that are shedding spacious private offices into cubicles and thus, fitting more employees into less space. 

However, analysts believe this slow streak will soon come to an end because companies are running out of room to keep growing in their existing spaces. Office demand in many markets is at an all time high because of the rapid job growth, pushing up rents and occupancy levels. 

“Employers started to hire, but they were only filling empty desks,” said Deborah Moy, a principal at Linneman Associates, a real-estate consulting firm. “We just think it’s a little bit of a catch-up time.”

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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