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ATLANTA-With population and job growth still strong, the office market will continue to expand in 2007, according to market reports.

Total employment is expected to grow by 2.2% by the end of the year, with the addition of 53,000 jobs. Office-using employment is expected to gain 16,000 jobs by year’s end, reflecting a 2.6% increase over 2006, according to a Marcus & Millichap Q2 office market research report.

With 890,000 new residents coming to Atlanta during 2000-2006, the city is ranked as the nation’s top growing metropolitan area. The city is the country’s ninth largest metro area with a total population of 5.1 million, according to a Grubb & Ellis Q2 office market report.

“Demand for office properties by out-of-state and institutional investors will remain steady through the remainder of 2007, driven by modest revenue growth,” says Marcus & Millichap Atlanta office regional manager John Leonard.

According to Grubb & Ellis, the vacancy rate at the end of the quarter was 18.2% with 791,583 sf of positive absorption during the quarter and 1.44 million sf of positive absorption year-to-date. The average asking rental rates were $23.50 per sf for class A space and $18.41 per sf for class B space.

“The reasons for job creation are many, including Atlanta’s young, talented labor pool, a low cost of living, its strategic location, and diverse economy–all factors that have contributed to the success of Atlanta being named the fifth year in a row as the metro area with the third most Fortune 500 companies,” the report states.

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