The office vacancy rate in the Triangle stood at 20.5 percent in fourth quarter of 2009, up nearly four percentage points from the same period in 2008, according to the latest trends report from Raleigh research firm Grubb & Ellis Thomas Linderman Graham.
The report forecasts a 2010 where tenants will remain in the driver's seat and landlords will continue to conserve cash by offering free rent instead of tenant improvement allowances.
The report expects vacancy rates to begin to tick lower later in 2010 thanks to the minimal new construction now underway.
There was just 175,884 square feet under construction in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the Triangle, down from more than one million square feet under construction during the same period in 2008.
For 2009, the Triangle had a negative net absorption of 485,164 square feet, meaning more companies moved out of space than into it. The ratio shows the amount of space occupied minus the space vacated.
In 2008, the Triangle had positive net absorption of about 1.5 million square feet of office space.
The 20.5 percent vacancy rate for the fourth quarter of 2009 includes sublease space.