The Inland Empire office market perked up slightly during the first quarter, as the worst effects of the pandemic began to wane.
Net absorption was minus-42,843 square feet, down from minus-61,148 in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to CBRE.
That trend was fueled mostly by leases of properties between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet.
Vacancy in the two-county region was 10.5 percent, up 40 base points quarter-over-quarter and 190 base points year-over-year. That increase was caused mostly by a few middle-size departures in Ontario.
Lease rates dropped one cent to $1.99 per sq. ft. per month from the fourth quarter of last year and are down 2.9 percent year over year.
Unemployment, which reached a record 15.2 percent one year ago, was down to 8.1 percent in February. The Inland region has recovered about 61 percent of jobs it lost one year ago when the pandemic first hit, according to CBRE.
“Economic recovery across the Inland Empire should accelerate in the coming months,” the report states. “But a return to normal relies upon the success of the vaccine rollout and employees embracing new health protocols for the office.”