But drive a half hour outside any of these cities and you’ll find submarkets with twice the vacancies and landlords eager to negotiate. Since 2008, only a handful of larger markets have seen office-rent increases, including San Francisco, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Columbus, Ohio.
Rents in the major Sunbelt markets, which remain far more affordable than those on either coast and moderately higher than in the Midwest, have been relatively stable, including Dallas, Houston, Austin, Texas, and Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.
Atlanta has slightly trailed the 6 percent asking rent decline for the nation’s largest 54 markets over the past three years. The most heavily discounted office and industrial (warehouse) rents can be found in those markets hit hardest by the housing downturn — central and southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and much of Florida — with declines ranging from 15 percent to 30 percent.
If you’re looking for space within the industrial (warehouse) sector, many of the top performing markets, both small and large, have close ties to the energy sector including Corpus Christi, Texas, Monroe, La., Oklahoma City and New Orleans.
North and South Dakota may not rank among the most expensive warehouse markets in the country — those are Anchorage, Alaska, Honolulu, Northern California and the New York region — but they rank conspicuously high for warehouse versus office rents.
It likely will come as a surprise that Pittsburgh and Indianapolis rank among the relatively few U.S. cities with warehouse rent growth over the past three years, potentially reflecting demand from new energy-related companies in those regions as well.
From a national level, the market remains a renters’ and buyers’ market. Office and industrial availability remain elevated at 15.8 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively, and have improved only slightly from peak 2010 peak levels.