Despite an unemployment rate of less than 3.0% for the third consecutive quarter, office-using employment in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area remained soft in Q4 2019 due to losses in the energy and professional and business services sectors.
Volatility in the oil and gas industry has curtailed the appetite for office space from energy-related occupiers, which contributed to negative absorption in four of the six local submarkets.
Investment sales increased in Q4 2019, due in large part to activity in the North and Northwest submarkets. Total investment sales for office property in Oklahoma City amounted to $95.4 million, an increase of $18.4 million from 2018 totals.
Construction levels fell during Q4 2019 with the delivery of two office buildings in the CBD and Midtown submarkets. In the CBD, a former car dealership was converted into modern office space, while the 53,000-sq. ft. Monarch building was completed in Midtown.