Who likes Pittsburgh? The answer shows up in low office vacancy rates

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Various measures of success define a metro area and one of the best is that companies want to do business there. That’s more than a feel-good notion — it’s quantifiable in office vacancy rates. The market doesn’t lie and what it says about Pittsburgh is a compliment.

In the fourth quarter of 2013 the office vacancy rate fell to 8.1 percent, says Colliers International, a real estate firm, making it one of the lowest in the nation, which has a rate of just under 12 percent.

Downtown is among the desirable spots, with a 10.5 percent vacancy rate. For the choicest spaces, Class A, the rate is only 7.4 percent.

As the Post-Gazette’s Mark Belko reported, tenants searching for more than 100,000 square feet of space have only four existing options, according to the firm. Paul Horan, founding principal at Colliers, said, “I definitely think the Downtown market is in excellent shape compared to the past. Specifically, the Class A market is the tightest it’s been in my career.”

It’s not just Downtown. The vacancy rate in Oakland is only 1.9 percent. In suburban Cranberry, there’s little available above 20,000 square feet, nothing above 70,000.

The Pittsburgh region weathered the Great Recession well. Now it’s building on that momentum.

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