Seattle-Bellevue office leasing volumes down significantly since April 1st

Amidst COVID-19, the office leasing market has effectively stalled since April 1st

June 22, 2020
Quarterly leasing volume (s.f.)
  • As tenants pause growth plans and switch their focus to “work from home,” office leasing activity is down significantly. Since April 1st, only 700,000 square feet of space has been leased and while there are still 2 weeks left in Q2, leasing volumes are less than a third of the quarterly average since 2010.

  • Washington State’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is amongst the most strict in the country, which has made touring space difficult to impossible since March 23rd. As King County moves towards phase 2 of Washington’s phased approach to reopening businesses, in-person activities like property viewings, inspections, and appraisals are allowed but limited to three people on site. Open houses are still not permitted.

  • Restrictions on touring and a newfound commitment to avoiding major capital expenses have shifted the focus to renewing or growing in place. 48 percent of all leases signed in Q2 have been renewals or blend/extends. No expansions or relocations have taken place.

  • Prior to the stay home order, Q1 was largely business as usual. While the rest of the country saw a 21 percent decrease in leasing volumes from Q4 to Q1, Seattle-Bellevue leasing was up 45 percent quarter over quarter and 99 percent of the quarterly average since 2010.