Data Courtesy of CoStar™
The Los Angeles office market continues to see conditions deteriorate. Vacancies are at a 25-year high, and sublease space continues to be at record levels. Rental rates are down from a peak in 20Q1, and while rates have held flat in 2021, concessions and other incentives have been more generous for tenants than prior to the pandemic based on notable leases recently signed.
Current office construction levels in L.A. have come down from recent peaks, but activity remains high from a historical perspective. Projects with little preleasing may be hard-pressed to secure tenants in the current leasing environment. Developers have demonstrated restraint in starting new projects in recent quarters, suggesting there are concerns about the trajectory for space demand coming out of the pandemic.
12 Mo Deliveries in SF
12 Mo Net Absorption in SF
12 Mo Rent Growth
12 Mo Sale Volume
Office sales volume in L.A. in recent quarters has been below activity seen in the years leading up to the pandemic. Some investors have taken a wait-and-see approach since the onset of the pandemic. Average market pricing peaked at the beginning of 2020, and there has been little movement since. Several recent large transactions of higher-quality assets garnered strong pricing and suggest discounts will not become the norm for all office sales in L.A. post-pandemic. Looking ahead, it’s uncertain to what extent pricing could be impacted longer term. Some are debating how office tenants will utilize space in the future.
The Los Angeles office market is unique among major markets nationally for the decentralized nature of its office stock. This is a product of the sprawling nature of the metropolis as well as its well-earned reputation for having some of the nation’s worst traffic. Companies need to be strategic in where they locate. The most prestigious office locations have long been on the Westside. Addresses in submarkets such as Century City, Beverly Hills, and Brentwood evoke a certain cachet and typically attract more traditional and imageconscious tenants. Heading west from those submarkets takes one to Silicon Beach, Los Angeles’ tech epicenter, which includes Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, and Playa Vista.
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