Energy companies have swooped in to lease Houston office spaces  and Houston commercial real estate across the city.
Energy companies have swooped in to lease Houston office spaces and Houston commercial real estate across the city.

As regular readers of TheSquareFoot know, Houston's economic success is tied closely to the growth of the energy industry. In fact, that market's resilience during the recession is one of the primary reasons that Houston has been able to emerge from a national period of economic struggles far better than many other cities.

And elsewhere in the country, it's that same energy industry that is driving the office rate vacancy to rates not seen since late 2009. That's all according to Reis, Inc., which recently commissioned a study on the matter.

The organization found that 17.1 percent of office space across the country was vacant, as of September 30, which is the lowest figure since a 17 percent reading three years ago. Helping to drive down that figure is Houston, along with other cities where energy companies are prominent, including Boston, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

In Houston commercial real estate in particular, the demand for Houston office space is attributable to the number of new energy and tech jobs being added in the city. According to jobs advice website Bright Labs, the energy industry - particularly those firms that have started extracting natural gas from shale - has added 33,000 jobs this year, with an estimated 3,500 in the Houston area. Mashable has a map of the cities with the most favorable numbers.

With this segment of the economy growing at such an accelerated pace, firms in the energy industry need to expand their staff sizes, which necessitates finding additional Houston commercial real estate. Some can try to maximize the more limited spaces they do have, but ultimately a move may be necessary.

With the local office space market as competitive as it is, businesses may need to scour entire metropolitan areas to find a space that is suitable for their needs. Planning for an office move must begin at least six months in advance if it is to be successful.

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