The office vacancy rate in the East Bay, not including Walnut Creek or further east nor life science/lab space, inched up 60 basis points in the second quarter of this year to 19.8 percent, which is twice as high as prior to the pandemic but still well below the effective office vacancy rate in San Francisco.

In addition to 4.5 million square feet of un-leased space, the current vacancy rate includes an additional 1.2 million square feet of space which has been leased but is actively being offered for sublet, with an office vacancy rate of 35.7 percent in Oakland’s City Center Core, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

While East Bay landlords are still trying to hold firm on asking rents, while offering free rent and build out allowances to reduce effective rents without signaling a mass decline, the average asking rent inched down eight (8) cents over the past quarter to $4.32 per square foot per month, which is 5.9 percent lower than at the same time last year and the lowest average asking rent since the end of 2019, at which point there was half as much vacant space on the market, with less than 125,000 square feet of space leased over the past quarter (which was the lowest amount of leasing activity since the beginning of the pandemic and “well below pre-pandemic levels, where quarterly activity rarely fell below 600,000 [square feet]”).

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