Leasing dynamics in Seattle/Puget Sound have changed in 12 months

Simply put, more renewals and less expansions

August 03, 2020


  • The Seattle/Puget Sound office market experienced an increase in sublease vacancy and a drop in leasing activity in the second quarter of 2020. 

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt immediately as reflected in total leasing volume, which is down to 795,000 square feet, a 56 percent decrease compared to Q2 2019. With limited touring activity, the number of leases signed also dropped from 126 in Q2 2019 to 42 in Q2 2020. 

  • Renewals and blend & extend accounted for nearly 50 percent of leases signed in the second quarter, which is up 11 percent compared to Q2 2019. Select companies are still active in the market, but many companies are opting to delay any real estate decisions in order to reassess the market. Expansions also dropped noticeably as many of the large office requirements are now put on hold.

  • Large block availability saw a sizeable uptick since last quarter and we will continue to see more sublease spaces hit the market in the coming quarters.

  • Touring and leasing activity is slowly picking up, but will remain limited for the foreseeable future. A return to normalcy is dependent on the length and intensity of the current pandemic.