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South Florida Leads U.S. In Office Attendance Recovery

People come to South Florida for the sunshine, palm trees and beaches, but the region's workforce is more likely than any other U.S. city's employees to be in the office. 

South Floida is just 14% behind the region's pre-pandemic office usage.

South Florida leads the nation in office attendance compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to new data from, which tracks mobile phone data. Office visits are just 14% off from April 2019 in the Miami metro area, which includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The U.S. overall remains 32.2% behind 2019 attendance levels. 

Office attendance in South Florida has led the nation for the last three months after overtaking New York, and April marked the highest level of foot traffic in the region since 2019. Attendance improved modestly last month, when it saw a 14.1% decline versus March 2019. In February, office visits in the region were only 9.4% off their mark from four years earlier. 

New York is the only other metro with offices achieving at least 75% of their 2019 foot traffic levels. Attendance lags four years earlier by 16.9% in New York, followed by a 26.5% difference in Washington, D.C., and a 27.6% decline in Dallas

In the back of the pack are San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago, each at least 40% behind foot traffic levels compared to four years earlier.  

While San Francisco remains in last place, off from 2019 by 49.3%, it led the nation in office visit growth, with a 26% year-over-year increase. Miami is in second with a 23.5% year-over-year increase in foot traffic, up from fourth place a month earlier

Foot traffic at office buildings is up 18.2% year-over-year nationally, and the difference in monthly visits compared to 2019 was the country’s best performance since August. That month is still the high-water mark for the country since the onset of the pandemic.   

Miami’s office visit numbers have helped make the market one of the nation's strongest for property owners. Asking rents for Miami office space rose more than 9% year-over-year in the first quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Tenants are piling into high-quality buildings and abandoning older offices. Of the more than 3M SF of office space available for sublease, more than 70% is in properties that were built before 2000, CoStar reported. Only 220K SF is available for sublease at properties built after 2015. 

The average lease size at the highest-tier office properties has also been larger than in other building classes since at least 2019, according to Avison Young.

The trends have allowed South Florida to lead most of the nation in rent growth since 2019 as vacancy remains largely stable, with Fort Lauderdale the only part of the region where vacancy has increased by more than 2%, according to CoStar. 

Class-A rents in Miami-Dade rose more than 20% between Q1 2023 and the first three months of this year.