Flight to quality,' record office vacancy rates continue in Q2.

In the Upstate and Charleston office market, the "flight to quality" trend has continued during the second quarter, while tenants in the Columbia market are more likely to renew than relocate, according to market reports from Avison Young and Colliers International.

Tenants are still clearing out of offices faster than they can be refilled across the state, with the Greenville-Spartanburg office market seeing the greatest vacancy rate at 16.9%, followed by Charleston's 15.7% and Columbia's 11.8% a record high for the Lowcountry and Upstate, according to Avison Young.

Columbia's market, Colliers International reports, remains an outlier as the overall market returns to pre-pandemic activity and most Columbia tenants choose to stay put instead of seeking out greener fields.

"While many tenants have explored their relocation and reconfiguration options, the high cost of tenant improvements and construction continues to drive tenants to renew at their current office rather than relocating," the report said. "The small impact of the pandemic to the office market in Columbia may be the slight rightsizing of some of the larger and more institutional tenants like financial institutions. As a result, the market will likely see a slight decline in occupancy rates in the short term due to tenants shaving off excess space from their overall footprint."

Over 14 million square feet remain on the Columbia market, with 75,000 square feet currently under construction, underscoring Colliers International's predictions that vacancy rates will increase in Q3.

The average overall rental price for Class A office space in Columbia is $21.39 per square foot still lower than the Upstate's $21.60 per square foot and $25.69 per square foot in Charleston.

The average selling price per square foot is $188.59 in the Upstate and $148.76 in the...

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