U.S. office vacancy rate flat for third straight quarter: Reis

October 2, 2016 11:39 PM EDT

Shadows from the sun enhance the geometrical design on the facade of a skyscraper on a autumn day in New York November 10, 2014. REUTERS/John Schults

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(Reuters) - U.S. national vacancy rate for the office sector in the third quarter was flat from the second, even as vacancy fell 20 basis points year to date, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc (NASDAQ: REIS).

Asking and effective rents growth for the office sector increased compared with the previous quarter, Reis said in a report.

National vacancy rate remained at 16 percent for a third successive quarter, while the year-over-year decline in vacancy was 40 basis points, the company said.

Construction activity fell from the second quarter, with 6.4 million square feet of new office construction completed during the quarter.

"Although the rolling 12-month total is increasing over time, the reality is that new construction is low and will continue to be low by historical standards, even as it increases over time," Barbara Denham, senior economist at Reis, said.

Asking rent for the sector grew by 0.3 percent while effective rent rose by 0.4 percent in the third quarter. Asking and effective rent had risen 0.6 percent in the second quarter.

Office market statistics are expected to improve noticeably in the coming quarters and recent employment growth should reduce vacancy rate toward 15.8 percent in 2016, Denham added.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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