Below are graphs depicting the vacant square feet and vacancy rates for Gwinnett County office space since 2000. As with most metrics that I’ve studied relating to commercial real estate in and around Atlanta, these vacancies have been steadily increasing since the beginning of the century. They are actually at an all time high right now for the past 20 years at around 27% vacant properties. That’s about 5 million square feet of vacant office space in Gwinnett County. This is a big change compared to just under 2 million square feet at the beginning of 2000. However, this is to be expected. Real estate firms continue to develop office space, creating a surplus. In recent years, companies have started to decrease the amount of space they rent for their employees because open space concepts and collaboration have become so popular. Like I’ve said many times before, this trend of renting less space is likely to continue into the future as executives are realizing that remote work is just fine for their company. Decreasing the amount of people you bring into the office each day can also ease the minds of employees returning to work during or after the pandemic. Though they may be in a smaller office because the company doesn’t need as much space, there will be less people to interact with, thus lowering the risk of contracting COVID-19 and putting people’s minds to rest.
Below is the office sublet vacancy rate in Gwinnett County. This has been decreasing for most of the century and has only slightly increased in the past few years. Again, this rate currently is below 1%. It is unlikely that the pandemic will have a huge impact on sublet vacancies, but we’ll know in the coming months and into 2021 as we continue watching these trends.
All data from CoStar Group