Office Vacancies in Cobb County have been increasing for most of the past 20 years. The times when rates were not increasing were more in line with stagnation than a decrease. The decrease that did occur between 2011-2016 was relatively small, at about a 6% change over a 5 year period. The office vacancies in this area are a good bit higher than the retail vacancies. Office space has a vacancy rate of 21% as of July 2020 while retail has a vacancy rate of 16% for July 2020. The difference is about 3 million square feet more vacant office space than retail space. Though the vacant office space has increased since the beginning of 2020, it is unlikely that the pandemic has been a huge factor. The vacancy rate was slowly increasing well before the pandemic began. If we see a sharp increase in the next few months, we can most likely attribute that to the pandemic. Otherwise, the increase cannot be solely because of the pandemic since vacancies were increasing before COVID-19 hit the United States.
Cobb County has an office sublet rate higher than the other three counties we’re been analyzing. However, since 2000, this rate has been decreasing with only a few small increases over the years. With that being said, office sublet vacancies have been on the rise since early 2019. Interestingly, the vacancy rate has remained stagnant since April 2020. This is the only county where we have seen this happen in 2020. It will be interesting to see if that remains consistent throughout the rest of the year or if more increases are in store.
All data from CoStar Group