ORLANDO-Although the office market was not as strong in Q2 as in past quarters, investors are still attracted to the market due to its long-term prospects, according to market reports.

During the quarter, the market experienced its first net negative absorption of 98,488 sf since 2004. The year-to-date absorption is still positive, however, at 142,798 sf, according to the CB Richard Ellis Q2 Orlando office market report.

However, the economic trends experienced by the region will continue to buoy the market through the rest of the year. Local employers are expected to expand payrolls by 26,000 workers by the year’s end, a jump of 2.3%, according to a Marcus & Millichap Q2 office research report. “Local office fundamentals are robust,” says Marcus & Millichap Orlando office regional manager Gregory Matus. “Long-term prospects remain bright, given the area’s population growth and the ongoing emergence of local knowledge-based office-using employment.”

Gross asking rental rates have continued to increase over the past few years from $19.50 per sf from the same quarter in 2005, to the current quarter’s total market average of $21.65 per sf. The average lease rate for class A office space in the Downtown submarket is $27.59 per sf, according to CB Richard Ellis.

The median sales price has increased 26% over the past year to $190 per sf. The median sales price for properties selling for less than $5 million has advanced 30% to $189 per sf during the same time period, according to Marcus & Millichap.

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