The state of office financing in the Denver market
Lease rates continue to go higher, the speculative office development increases and overall office vacancy continued to decrease in the first half of 2019. Record unemployment below the national average, along with steady job growth, has put metro Denver in the upper tier of targeted U.S. markets for investors, lenders and developers.
Political and economic factors have led to a rising interest rate environment over the past couple of years, but a trade war has led to a free-fall in Treasuries and other indexes, bringing the cost of borrowing significantly down. Interest rates have helped spur investment and transaction activity, aided by continued headquarters relocations and expansion of the technology sector.
While the massive rent growth we’d seen over the past seven years appeared to be stabilizing at the end of 2018, asking lease rates for office ticked up by 2.8% at the end of the second quarter. Rent concessions and tenant improvements had increased late last year, but positive absorption and decreased vacancy in the first half of the year have leveled them off.