The Most and Least Expensive Office Markets in the U.S.

Oct. 18, 2016

New York, NY, tops the list of average total operating expenses, while Huntsville, AL, remains the cheapest. 

BOMA International published the 2016 Office Experience Exchange Report (Office EER) and compiled a list of the most and least expensive office markets in the U.S., factoring in both operating expenses and rental rates. The annual Office EER aggregates office sector income and expense data from the previous year—2015 data was gathered from more than 5,200 buildings in nearly 275 markets in the U.S. and Canada totaling almost 900 million square feet.

The total cost of operation includes all expenses suffered by operate office buildings, including utilities, repairs and maintenance, roads and grounds, cleaning, administration and security.

New York City returned to the very top of the list after being bumped last year by San Francisco. New York’s average total operating expenses of $11.94 per square foot (psf) increased from $11.46 per square foot in 2014. At the other end of the spectrum, Huntsville, AL, at $4.15 psf, replaced Cincinnati in 2015 as the office market with the lowest reported operating expenses.

The suburb of Washington, D.C.’s Maryland area is the latest addition to the most expensive markets for operating costs, while the other four markets have appeared in the top five markets for three years running. The inclusion of both Washington, DC and the city’s Maryland suburbs indicates the particular economic strength of the Washington metro area.

The full report is available to BOMA subscribers at https://eer.boma.org/Boma/.

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