Office rents increase across U.S.

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Office rents across the country rose 3.1 percent in the second quarter, according to data from Reis Inc. New York led the country in rent increases, posting a 7.8 percent spike over the past three months. Nationwide, the rent hikes come as many companies seek to expand in major urban markets–driving up demand at a time when there are few large leases to be had–and investors like the Blackstone Group and Morgan Stanley have purchased commercial properties for huge sums. The new landlords are seeking to turn a profit on their investments by negotiating ever-higher lease rates in areas like Boston and San Francisco. more [WSJ]