Empty offices and low construction signal remote work could be here to stay

TheStreet’s J.D. Durkin brings the latest business headlines from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as markets open for trading Tuesday, January 9th.

Full Video Transcript Below: 

J.D. DURKIN: I’m J.D. Durkin, reporting from the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s what we’re watching on TheStreet today.

Stocks are coming off a winning session on Wall Street as big tech helped prop up the market Monday. Investors are looking ahead to key inflation reports out Thursday and Friday, both of which will give investors a better idea of the Federal Reserve’s next move. Currently, markets are pricing in a 57 percent chance of rate cuts in March.

In other news, employers’ attempts to lure their workforces back to the office haven’t been very effective. According to a new report by Moody’s Analytics, there are now more empty offices in the United States than at any point since 1979.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average office vacancy rate stood just below 17 percent. According to the report, the national office vacancy rate rose to 19.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, surpassing the previous high of 19.3 percent, which has only been reached twice in the last 40 years. And it’s not just limited to existing office spaces; the report says new building construction is at its lowest level in over a decade.

There was, however, one caveat to the report: Class A buildings, centrally located and consisting of the newest, most modern buildings with many amenities, are still coveted.

The report also mentioned that offices in the suburbs are more desirable than those in cities because of their proximity to communities and potential for a quick commute.

That’ll do it for your daily briefing. From the New York Stock Exchange, I’m J.D. Durkin with TheStreet.

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