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WASHINGTON, DC-Washington, DC is at the top of a list of cities with office properties under construction in a Colliers International ranking. According to the firm, there is more than 12 million sf under construction here, including the near suburbs. In the District alone there is some 5.3 million sf under construction. Construction activity in the northern Virginia suburbs is even more robust at 6,684,429 sf.

Similar high levels are reported in other markets ranging from New York to Phoenix to Chicago to Orange Count. One projection posited in the report is that nationwide this new construction, at least in certain markets, is expected to overtake demand next year, possibly realigning market fundamentals.

Washington, DC, though, has little worry about. Ross Moore, senior vice president and director of market and economic research at Colliers International, tells GlobeSt.com that while current construction will introduce an additional 5% of supply into existing inventory “our research director in that market has assured me that it will be all leased up with barely a hiccup. If there is any market that can handle an additional five million, it is DC.”

In most submarkets in the District and surrounding areas, with a few exceptions in the outer suburbs, vacancy rates range from 6% to 10%. Space is the most desirable parts of town, such as the West End, is almost non existent as long-standing tenants routinely re-sign leases. High barriers to entry in this particular submarket, where there is little space to develop on, have contributed to the problem.

Many office buildings that go under construction here are done on a speculative basis. For instance, a new 322,000-sf building expected to deliver in 18 to 24 months at 77 K St. NE, developed by two New York City-based firms, Brookfield Properties and ING Clarion, is not preleased.

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