Studley's New BFF
By now, you've heard that the Studley you know and love is growing up, merging with London-based Savills in a $260M transaction. (It's like the marriage of Charles V to infanta Isabella: powerful, global, and historic.) The new Savills Studley will be an international powerhouse, with 500 offices worldwide. And the local team's pretty excited.
Studley chairman/CEO Mitch Steir (who’s retaining his position in the newly branded Savills Studley—here he's to the right Savills CEO Jeremy Helsby yesterday) tells us companies are increasingly seeing real estate as global, and the world is only getting smaller. (That's what we tell our neighbors when they complain about our hedges hanging over the property line.) Mitch says local Studley offices will continue to focus on their core competency of tenant rep, but will build up their capital markets and retail capabilities. (Landlord rep and management are not on the agenda, he adds.) And look for new hire announcements as Savills Studley ramps up recruiting.
Houston won’t be getting any Savills employees just yet, but the local office looks forward to the merger. Associate director Jim Bell (here in the green shirt with Hastings Construction’s Bruce Hastings and Studley’s Drew Morris and Bryant Lach at the HOLBA golf tourney) shared a few tidbits from its latest research that'll come in handy for his new colleagues.
- Major submarkets remained landlord friendly, but opportunities exist for tenants to leverage savings and create more efficient space. Our overall availability dipped 0.3% last quarter to 18%. Class-A vacancy rose 0.2% to 16.3%.
- Some major oil and gas companies pulled back a little in Q1, including Shell shutting down unprofitable units. Office-using employment grew more than 5% in ’12, but dipped below 3% in 2013.
- Overall leasing leapt 26% in Q1 for a total of 4M SF. (That’s a nice solid stat—the same amount we averaged quarterly last year.)
- Available square footage for Class-A office increased 15.4% year-over-year. The number of large contiguous blocks increased fairly dramatically, from 57 blocks over 50k SF available in Q4 ’13 to 67 now. On the other hand, large blocks of Class-B and –C space fell from 60 to 55.