DATA: Cy-Fair office, retail vacancy rates tick upward as one-year anniversary of COVID-19 pandemic passes

Roughly one year after the coronavirus pandemic led to the closure of retail stores and emptying of office buildings across Houston, occupancy rates continued a downward in the Cy-Fair area ZIP codes.

The vacancy rate among office properties is up from 18.7% in the first quarter of 2020 to 20.9% as of March 23, according to data from CoStar Group provided by Caldwell Cos. to Community Impact Newspaper. The vacancy rate is also up slightly from February, when it clocked in at 20.6%.

Meanwhile, retail vacancies are up from 5.5% in the first quarter of 2020 to 6.7% as of March 23. The retail sector also saw an uptick over the past month, rising 0.3 percentage points from a rate of 6.4% in February.

Rental rates are up year-over-year in Cy-Fair's industrial and retail sectors, with the average triple net direct rent per square foot in the industrial sector up by $1.40 since the first quarter of 2020, according to the Caldwell data. Office rental rates rose in the first half of 2020, but have since been on the decline and have fallen below where they were at the start of last year.

Roughly 2 million square feet in new space have been added to Cy-Fair's industrial market over the past year, according to the Caldwell data. The retail sector saw 400,000 square feet of new space come online over that time, while no new office buildings have been constructed over the past year.

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.