The Suburban Maryland office market, which encompasses Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, totals approximately 89.3 million square feet of rentable space in 896 office buildings of 25,000 square feet and greater.
The market recorded a decrease in net absorption in the first quarter of 2020 with -156,873 square feet absorbed, down from the 61,333 square feet absorbed in the previous quarter.
Direct vacancy remained flat at 13.1% in the first quarter 2020, and total vacancy increased slightly to 13.9%.
There were six sales transactions in Suburban Maryland this quarter, totaling $340,050,000. The largest sale of the quarter was 5454 Wisconsin Avenue in the Bethesda / Chevy Chase submarket. The building sold to Starwood Real Estate Income Trust from Carr Properties for $160,000,000 ($544 psf).
The largest lease signed this quarter was BAE Systems signing a 49,080-square-foot lease at 520 Gaither Road. The year-over-year unemployment rate in Suburban Maryland decreased to 3.0% in February 2020, down from 3.5% in February 2019.
From February 2019 to February 2020 employment in Suburban Maryland had a net increase of 19,388 new jobs, representing 0.3% job growth. Sectors with the greatest amount of job growth were Professional and Business Services with 1,400 jobs, Financial Services with 1,200 jobs, and Education & Health Services and Mining, Logging & Construction, which each added 700 new jobs. Government jobs increased by 600 jobs year-over-year.