By now I am sure all of you are aware of the nationwide credit crisis, the failing housing market, and some of you have maybe even suffered from the volatile stock market. These are just a few factors that are contributing to the nation’s recession fears. These economic drivers seem to be widespread across the country. However, the Puget Sound region and in particular Downtown Bellevue appears at this time to be different, or at least delayed.

Supply and demand is a common theory that helps to illustrate economic trends, and based on the 2007 fourth quarter office market statistics, compiled by the CB Richard Ellis research department; this is an economic indicator that continues to shine. Downtown Bellevue vacancy rate for office space ended at 6%, 4 points lower than the 10% mark commonly know as a healthy office market.

In the Q4 nearly 500,000 net square feet of office space was leased in an office market that consists of just over 6.1 million square feet of inventory. In addition, lease rates have increased drastically over the last year, in some cases by more than 20%, as the high water mark has increased to about $43 per square foot annually. Because landlords have increased asking rates for the office space, this is a clear indication that demand has increased.

Based on extensive demand for office space driven by the increasing work forces of corporate giants such as Microsoft, Expedia, and Yahoo, this local economy and in particular the office market in Downtown Bellevue will remain insulated from the rest of the nation at least for the foreseeable future.

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