Office Vacancy Rates Up 3% Since 2019

By Kelly Leighton | Feb. 27, 2023 | 2 min. read

Office vacancy rates have risen 3% since 2019.

As of the fourth quarter of 2022, office vacancy rates were 12.49% across the U.S., according to NAR, compared to 9.51% in the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic. The report found that many big metro areas are continuing to struggle with office vacancy, as more companies moved to less expensive areas during the pandemic or allowed for a hybrid or fully remote workforce, lowering or removing the need for office space. Compared to 2019, 65% of areas have more office vacancy.

In Pennsylvania, office vacancy rates remain below the national average, even in the biggest cities, though smaller areas reported lower vacancy rates. In Philadelphia, office vacancy rates were 10.34% in the last quarter of 2022, while they were 11.03% in Pittsburgh. Harrisburg had an office vacancy rate of 9.51%, Reading had one of 6.25%, Lancaster’s was 3.15%, York’s was 2.52%, Erie had a vacancy rate of 2.81% and Scranton’s was 4.72%. York was the 10th top performer in the whole country of 2022 for having one of the lowest office vacancy rates.

The report found that areas within a 2-hour radius of main tech hubs saw the biggest decrease in office vacancy rates. Many companies elected to move to more affordable areas, as did employees. Both York and Scranton found their office vacancy rates decreased from 2019 to 2022, with York’s decreasing 2.19% and Scranton’s decreasing 2%. Pittsburgh saw the biggest increase in office vacancy in the commonwealth during that same time period, rising 3.44%, Harrisburg’s rose 2.97%, Reading’s increased by 2.53%, Philadelphia’s rose by 2.06%, while Lancaster saw an increase of 0.89%. Erie had one of the smallest increases in office vacancy, rising 0.42% from 2019-2022.

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