Growth in U.S. office market is picking up

office to rent signBy Eliot Brown | The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. office market is showing signs of picking up steam, with businesses adding space in the first quarter at the fastest pace since 2007, according to a report from real-estate data firm Reis Inc. REIS -3.05%

The amount of occupied office space grew by 9.8 million square feet in the first three months of the year, up from 9 million square feet in the fourth quarter of 2013 and an average of 5.2 million square feet a quarter between 2011 and 2013, according to Reis.

But the first-quarter growth rate—accounting for a 0.3% increase in the occupied office space—remains slow by historic standards, reflective of the sluggish labor market. Throughout much of the 2000s, occupied space routinely grew by 12 million to more than 20 million square feet a quarter.


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