DALLAS – A surge in fourth quarter leasing made Dallas-Fort Worth the top office market in the country in 2017.
Expanding and relocating companies leased almost 4.7 million square feet of North Texas office space in 2017, according to a study by commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.
Last year's net office leasing – or absorption – was more than 38 percent ahead of the 2.9 million square feet of local office space businesses occupied in 2016.
Dallas-Fort Worth office demand last year was more than twice the 10-year average.
Never miss a local story.
"Dallas continues to hit on all cylinders," said Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director Johnny Johnson. "We led the country in absorption in 2017, which says a lot.
"The engine continues to be job growth and a very diverse economy. A significant percentage of the new jobs created in Texas are coming to Dallas."
The country's other top office leasing markets in 2017 included New York, Seattle and Boston, Cushman & Wakefield said.
Combining all of the New York metro markets would total more office leasing than North Texas, but the year-end study wasn't figured that way.
More than 3 million square feet of new office projects in North Texas opened in 2017, including major projects for Toyota, JPMorgan Chase and State Farm Insurance.
"There's approximately 5 million square feet of new projects underway," Johnson said. "Given the size of our market of approximately 225 million square feet, it accounts just 2 percent of our total supply."
With overall office vacancies in North Texas staying below 17 percent, Cushman & Wakefield is predicting that 2018 will be another strong year the office business.
"Leasing activity in 2017 kept pace with previous years and showed no signs of a slowdown," Managing director Dean Collins said. "Momentum is continuing into 2018. Demand is keeping pace with new office construction."