August 25, 2017

Major U.S. office leasing activity in the first half of 2017 corresponded with the country’s overall urban/suburban division of office inventory: about 40% in downtown markets and 60% in suburbs. However, for specific industries, leasing activity was much more concentrated in one location or the other. Companies in primarily client-facing industries, such as legal and financial services, are more likely to lease space in downtown markets. Conversely, leasing activity involving companies in industries with greater space needs or more specialized equipment and build-out requirements, such as aerospace/defense, manufacturing-transportation, telecommunications and health care/life sciences, was overwhelmingly concentrated in the suburbs.

U.S. MarketFlash | Rockin' the Suburbs: Where are Office-Using Industries Concentrated?

High-tech firms accounted for the largest share of major office leasing activity in H1 2017 at 19% overall. And contrary to common perceptions, the majority of high-tech leasing deals were in the suburbs. Some industries have a larger impact within downtown or suburban markets than they do on leasing trends overall. For example, the legal industry accounted for just 5% of total leasing activity in H1 2017 but 10% of downtown leasing, while the health care/life sciences industry accounted for 8% of total leasing but 12% of suburban leasing.  

U.S. MarketFlash | Rockin' the Suburbs: Where are Office-Using Industries Concentrated?

To learn more, download CBRE’s recently released North America Suburban Office Trends reports – Summer 2017 and Spring 2017.