Office rents were flat and vacancy rates rose nationwide in the third
quarter, putting additional stress on commercial real estate owners
and lenders. The Tampa-St. Petersburg office market was one of the
hardest-hit, with the vacancy rate rising 1.7 percentage points last
quarter to 15 percent and rents falling 1.8 percent, according to Reis Inc., a New York real-estate research firm. New York’s office space vacancy rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 6.1 percent, compared to San Francisco’s increase of 0.6 percent and Boston’s increase of 0.8 percent. New York’s office space vacancy rate still remains the lowest in the country.