CHICAGO-The tale of two office markets, the cities with strong fundamentals and the secondary markets that are still struggling, is starting to balance more toward positive territory, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s first quarter national office report. With strong showings by areas such as Silicon Valley in California, Boston, Seattle and Houston, the US office market has sustained four consecutive quarters of occupancy gains, the company says, and national vacancy decreased to 18.4%.

About 4.5 million square feet was absorbed in the first quarter 2011, according to JLL. Washington, DC, New York City and San Francisco have continued extensive gains in occupancy since the country started its upward trend from the recession, says John Sikaitis, director of office research. The first two cities have gained from location, quality product and demand, but he says the technology market has seen significant gains in the past few months. “The tech sector is on fire, those markets have completely turned in to landlords’ markets,” he says.  Sikaitis says double-digit rent growth has been realized in submarkets like Palo Alto, Century City in Los Angeles, South of Market in San Francisco, Uptown in Dallas, Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and the Back Bay in Boston.

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