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Houston office market overall vacancy increased to 23.4% compared to this time last year at 21.0%, while availability also increased to 27.9% versus 25.9% during the same time period.


Vacancy and availability. Houston office market overall vacancy increased to 23.4% compared to this time last year at 21.0%, while availability also increased to 27.9% versus 25.9% during the same time period. The Houston office market has recorded 13.0 million sq. ft. of leasing activity—which is comprised of both new leases and renewals—while net absorption (move-ins minus move-outs) is at negative 4.5 million sq. ft. Houston’s office market saw available sublease space decrease slowly during the first half of 2020, before rising to 7.0 million sq. ft. as of the end of November 2020. Houston has suffered two devastating events at one time; a collapse in oil prices rocked the energy industry at the same time COVID shut down the economy.

Hewlett-Packard relocating global HQ to Houston. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is moving its global headquarters out of Silicon Valley to the Houston area, representative of the growing list of Fortune 500 California businesses moving to Texas. Currently, almost all of HPE’s employees are working remotely, although the tech firm plans to shift to a new physical headquarters at a 60-acre campus now under construction in Spring, Texas by early 2022. The Springwoods Village community, where HPE is building the 440,000-sq.-ft. office campus, is just south of The Woodlands. It is home to Exxon Mobil’s expansive corporate campus and buildings for Southwestern Energy and American Bureau of Shipping, among others.

Houston’s energy jobs biggest losses are likely in the past. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported earlier estimates for metro Houston’s pandemic job losses at 353,600 jobs from February to April 2020. However, revised data released in November show a net drop of 366,800 jobs. The bulk of the additional job losses occurred in professional and business services, which shed 40,900 jobs versus 27,400 in the earlier estimate. Since April, Houston has added back 147,500 jobs, as local employment data indicate improvement in October.


Leta Wauson
Director of Research
[email protected]
tel 713 275 9618

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