The Greater Houston Partnership just released the Houston MSA Employment Forecast for 2010 and outlined the following scenario for the coming year:
- Houston lost nearly 93,000 jobs (December 08 to December 09)
- A net gain of 1,900 jobs is predicted for 2010
- Job losses continue into 2010 but at moderating rates
- Q3 2010 brings the first blush of job growth in Houston’s recovery
- By 4Q 2010, employment a lagging indicator should be on the upswing
What does this mean for tenants in the Houston office and industrial market?
In these uncertain times, most companies are sitting on the sidelines and waiting to see what happens as it relates to their real estate plans. Like investing in the stock market, following the trend will probably not produce the desired results. But for savvy tenants, bucking the trend and taking advantage of this down period in the market will result in savings for companies that lock in lower cost options in long-term leases.
As in most markets, no one knows where the bottom will be, and by the time they think they’ve reached the bottom, they’ve already missed it. I have advocated for a couple of months now, this is a key time for companies to evaluate their real estate and if possible seize the opportunity for lower cost space options. Economic forecasting is tricky exercise but provided the Houston economy performs as expected, the window of opportunity is in the present.