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PHILADELPHIA-Of the city’s suburban submarkets, Bala Cynwyd/Narbeth continuesto be the strongest in the office sector, according to second-quarter research by principal Tom Sklow and vice president John Shelly at the locally based office of Trammell Crow Co. Its direct vacancy rate is 7%, but it is not immune to increases in sublet space, which takes overall office vacancy in the submarket to 10.6%.

Average asking rental rate in Bala Cynwyd/Narbeth is $30.28 per sf, among the highest in the greater Philadelphia area. It is exceeded only by the Main Line and Conshohocken submarkets, both of which have double-digit vacancy rates that rose during the first half of this year.

Overall vacancy rate in the Main Line submarket is 15.4%, according to the research. Conshohocken experienced its largest increase in vacancy over the past year. The rate now stands at 25.3%, including sublease space. “Historically, Conshohocken benefited from the lowest vacancy rates of all submarkets,” Shelly says. “With additional buildings coming on line, there will continue to be downward pressure on rental rates.”

Average asking rental rate in the Conshohocken submarket is $30.77 per sf, compared to an average of $32.50 per sf in the Main Line submarket. Though the Main Line average has stayed firm, Shelley predicts it will soften as Conshohocken competes for space.

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