Chicago Office Market Report
Performance Uneven Among Metro’s Submarkets As Available Inventory Reaches New High
Health crisis produces varied results across the metro. The uncertainty brought upon by the pandemic substantially cut leasing activity during the past year, while move outs and space consolidations rose. As a result, available inventory in Chicagoland hit a historical high of 84 million square feet at the end of 2020, an annual jump of nearly 13 million square feet, which drove vacancy to a new high. Not all areas of the metro fared equally, however. The rate in outlying submarkets including the Far Northwest, Indiana and North DuPage County fell more than 100 basis points due in part to few inventory additions amid a rise in demand from firms seeking lower-cost office space close to their employees’ homes. In contrast, availability surged more than 300 basis points year over year in the submarkets that comprise Chicago’s core.