The coronavirus has forced Colliers International to make"adjustments" that counterbalance present and the future negativetrends that the coronavirus pandemic has had on its national officemarkets.

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Before the coronavirus, leading housing markets in the US showedsigns of cooling in the first quarter of 2020. While rents sawminimal changes, once the coronavirus led to stay-at-home ordersand social distancing restrictions, market vacancies and lowerabsorption have increased. According to the Colliers Q1 2020 TopOffice Markets Snapshot Report, absorption was negative in fourmarkets and felt in two more.

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The report attributed Covid-19 to slowing leasing activity inMarch. It placed blame on the coronavirus for the creation of a"climate of uncertainty" that will put decision making on hold asbusinesses reevaluate their real estate needs and seek to containcosts.

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The coronavirus pandemic will impact all of its markets. Butthose, such as Silicon Valley and Seattle, which have tech-ledmarkets and established firms with strong balance sheets, will bethe most resilient. Meanwhile, the collapse of oil prices willsharply impact Houston and coronavirus pandemic will test theentertainment sector in Los Angeles as production has come to aclose.

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Also from Colliers' top 10 nationwide office markets, Manhattanis experiencing a slowdown in first-quarter leasing activity.Washington, DC, has elevated vacancy. In Chicago, large-blockavailability "is a heightened concern." Dallas has seen a slowdownin construction activity. Boston has a mixed first-quarter with netabsorption negative, but with rents continuing its rise.

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Atlanta had the strongest quarter in 20 years. According to theColliers Q1 snapshot report, net absorption was the highest amongthe 10 top office markets, driven by long-planned move-ins at 1.4million square feet.

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Michael A. Mora

Michael was born and raised in South Florida. He went to undergrad at Florida Atlantic University and earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a litigation reporter for the Daily Business Review, as well as an editor for ALM Global. You can email him at [email protected].