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Office space holds at one-third vacant

Price per square foot drops a penny during final quarter of a rough year for commercial real estate

Posted: January 15, 2011 7:57 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2011 4:30 a.m.

Nearly a third of Santa Clarita Valley’s office space remained vacant in 2010, and 2011 doesn’t look much better, according to an industry report released Friday.

Small-business owners continue to make the most of bargain prices and are more focused on being pragmatic than finding a space with bells, whistles or a good location, according to Colliers International’s Santa Clarita Valley fourth-quarter market report.

During the final quarter of a dismal year for the office market, 29.1 percent of the SCV’s 2.4 million square feet of office space was vacant, down a little from 29.6 percent during the third quarter.

Just 11,200 square feet of office space are newly occupied.

The report states that 2010’s office space demand was “soft” and signs of recovery were limited.

It also predicted 2011 won’t look much better, since most of the activity is businesses moving around, not growing, the report states.

“In order to see a significant impact on vacancy in 2011, the market will need to attract and retain larger employers,” the report states.

The average asking rent was down a single penny from the previous quarter at $2.39 per square foot.

Most economists project that the Santa Clarita Valley economy will remain weak into the new year.

Office market demand is expected to be weak also, since most local firms are holding off on hiring until there are more permanent signs of recovery, the report states.



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