4Q 2019 Houston Office Market

Slow Real Estate Recovery Ensures Market Remains Occupier Friendly


Leasing activity continued to lag below the elevated levels we saw in 2018, further indicating the current tenant-friendly market. Prices for WTI crude have fallen from over $60 per barrel into the low $50 range due to uncertainty on the global impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. This weakness in the oil price has already begun a new wave of energy industry bankruptcies which could again spur vacancy.

The former ConocoPhillips campus in West Houston traded hands as part of Howard Hughes’ purchase of the former Anadarko headquarters buildings in The Woodlands, however, the 1.3 MSF campus remains on the market as Howard Hughes looks to resell.

Net absorption for turned positive in 4Q’19 with 1.2 MSF of class A&B direct space filled across the MSA. Houston’s overall job growth closed out 2019 strong as well, adding 88,700 new jobs in the year. Yet expectations for 2020 job growth are more tempered, with the Greater Houston Partnership forecasting a modest 42,300 jobs in the new year, including a net loss of 4,000 jobs from the energy sector.  



Q4 2019 Market Report Stats Photo