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For First Time in Four Years, Houston Office Vacancy Down

But the market still has a ways to go to reach full recovery from the oil downturn.


Houston office vacancy decreased from 24.5 percent to 24.2 percent in the last quarter.


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Houston’s office market is finally seeing some light.

With the oil downturn, office vacancy in Houston nearly doubled from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of this year.

But in the third, the rate finally went down a bit, to 24.2 percent, according to commercial real estate services firm JLL.

One tenant, ConocoPhillips, is responsible for bringing the market over the threshold. But that's not the whole story.

"Right now the market is starting to heat up, oil stabilized, people going forward," JLL executive vice president Steve Burkett said. "So people are taking, occupying some of the space that they had vacant and then as they occupy the space they already have, eventually they are going to start growing."

However, this doesn't mean the market will get back in shape overnight.

Burkett expects a slow recovery quarter by quarter through at least next year.

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