Outside “gateway cities” like Miami, 2012 office market will stay flat

With the exception of employers in New York City, Miami and other so-called “gateway cities,” U.S. office tenants can expect 2012 market conditions to remain very similar to those at the end of 2011, according to a report released today by tenant representation firm Cresa.

Tenants will continue to benefit from a relatively weak office market in most cities. Double-digit vacancy rates and decreased demand brought on by technological advances will keep rents flat this year — except in gateway cities — even though 2012 will be another year without much new development.

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“The economy we see today is the economy we’re likely to see throughout 2012,” said Cresa CEO Bill Goade. “While we can expect some expansion, there will continue to be a high degree of uncertainty surrounding debt issues in Europe and slow job growth. Business leaders are expected to remain highly cautious and unlikely to expand their real estate footprint unless compelled to do so.”

But buoyed by the technology, social media and healthcare sectors, the office market conditions in cities like New York, Miami, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle should tighten, Cresa predicts. – Adam Fusfeld