Q4 2022 Office Space Report: Houston, TX

Published: 05-24-23    Category: General CRE

Specializes in providing actionable insights into the commercial real estate space for investors, brokers, lessors, and lessees. He covers quarterly market data reports, investment strategies, how-to guides, and top-down perspectives on market movements.

Q4 2022 Office Space Report: Houston, TX

Houston is known for its renowned museums and world-class medical center. It’s also the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Additionally, Houston houses the headquarters of many major corporations, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Shell Oil.

Unemployment in Houston declined from 4.2% in Q3 2022 to 3.9% in Q4 2022. Its metro area’s population increased from 6.49 million to 6.6 million in 2022.

In Q4 2022, Houston’s office space market saw vacancies nudge slightly lower, rents decline, and modestly positive absorption.

General Area Overview & Demographics

Houston is the largest city in Texas and has an estimated population of 2.3 million people. The population is racially diverse, with approximately 44% identifying as Hispanic or Latino, 24% White, 22% African American, and 8% Asian.

Houston, TX Median Household Income & Population

As of 2021, the median household income in the city is approximately $60,000. The economy is driven primarily by the energy industry, with growing healthcare, aerospace, and technology sectors. Compared to other major cities in the country, the cost of living in this city is relatively low, yet its residents continue to worry about inflation.

The median age in the city is 33 years old. The city is known for its diverse age range and offers vibrant nightlife, cultural events, and outdoor activities.

This city is home to several prestigious universities and colleges, including Rice University, the University of Houston, and Texas Southern University. Additionally, Houston Community College and Lone Star College offer a range of academic programs, from business and engineering to healthcare and the arts.

Visitors and residents enjoy various attractions, including the Space Center Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Other popular attractions include the Houston Zoo, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, and the Buffalo Bayou Park.

This city has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. High humidity is prevalent throughout the year, with frequent thunderstorms in the summer months. The city enjoys an average of 204 sunny days yearly, though heavy rain events may cause flooding.

Summary of Houston Office Space Performance in Q4 2022

Overall vacancies for Houston office space were at about 23.3% in Q4 2022, a 0.1% decline from Q3’s 23.4% and still one of the highest in the nation.

Office space vacancies were highest with Class B space in Houston’s CBD at 34.5%. The Suburban submarket’s Class C space had the lowest at 9.2%.

There were nearly 99,000 square feet of positive absorption for Houston’s office space market in Q4 2022. The CBD and Suburban submarkets accounted for about half of that at 50,000 and 49,000, respectively.

The CBD’s Class C space was the only building type to see negative absorption for the quarter at -6,000.

Absorption for Houston office space ended the year at 285,000 square feet.

What are office space rents like in Houston?

Q4 2022 Office Space Report: Houston, TX

Average rents for Houston office space declined from $30.86 per square foot in Q3 to about $30.85 in Q4.

Suburban rents averaged $26.91, while CBD rents averaged $42.70. The CBD’s Class A space saw median rates of $45.06.

Class C space in Suburban markets averaged the lowest at $17.11 per square foot.

Purchase & Leasing Activity

Q4 2022 Office Space Report: Houston, TX

Sales volume for Houston office space reached $114.5 million in Q4 2022, bringing the market’s annual total to around $1.7 billion.

The total for 2022 was lower than 2021’s $2.2 billion.

Leasing volume reached 13.7 million square feet, an increase from 12.6 million square feet in 2021.

Notable Office Space Deals in Houston in Q4 2022

There were several notable deals that took place for Houston office space in Q4 2022:

  • Trammel Crow purchased Energy Center V’s 524,000 square feet.
  • Dhanani Private Equity Group purchased Galleria Park 1 and 2’s 400,000 square feet.
  • Apache Corp leased 327,000 square feet.
  • Kiewit Engineering Group leased 171,000 square feet.

These are select examples among other activity.

New Office Space Development Activity in Houston in Q4 2022

Houston office space saw about 54,000 square feet of new deliveries in Q4 2022, a significant decline from Q4 2021’s 1.6 million square feet.

At the close of 2022, 1.9 million square feet of new product were under development.

Market Forecast for Houston’s Office Space Market

New leasing activity among office space in Houston may remain underwhelming as we progress into 2023. Expect subdued new construction as well.

A broader return-to-office among Houston employers would greatly assist the market, but that still remains to be seen even as we enter Q2 2023.

Takeaways for Office Space Investors

Q4 2022 Office Space Report: Houston, TX

Houston’s office space will continue to perform modestly. Investors should approach this market with caution.

Do your research, stay diligent, and happy investing.

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