Houston Rental Rates On the Rise

Rent is on the rise in the Houston metropolitan area, and vacancy rates are the lowest in years — especially in The Woodlands.

The average rental rate for apartments and townhouses in Montgomery County was $1,642 and $2,025 in The Woodlands from May 2012 to April 2013, compared with $1,479 and $1,785, respectively, for the same months in 2008-09, according to data collected by the Houston Association of Realtors.

Demand for premium commercial space in The Woodlands is even higher. Class A office property is completely occupied for the first time since 1997, which has raised rental rates for Class B properties.

CBRE Group Inc., a global real estate services firm, reports that nearly 10 million square feet of office space is in various stages of development in the Houston area and centered in suburban markets. The ExxonMobil campus just south of The Woodlands accounts for 3 million square feet. Businesses already are scrambling to get their hands on available space.

“Only 1.2 (million square feet) will deliver in the next three months, of which 60 percent is pre-leased, leaving little space vacant for new tenants,” according to the CBRE’s quarterly review.

The firm projects an additional 1.4 million square feet in 15 buildings will be available within the next six months.

Houston’s economy also is driving development of 6.4 million square feet of industrial space, 5.25 million of which is located in the city’s north and northwest suburbs.

While residential structures can be erected in months, commercial and industrial properties can be under construction for considerably longer periods while demand continues to grow.




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