Law firms brighten 1st quarter office leasing picture


Law firms were a bright spot in the first quarter office leasing report from Newmark for northern Delaware.

Newmark operates an office in Wilmington.

The quarter got off to a slow start, due to the Covid-19 omicron variant, which delayed many back to the office plans.

Leasing activity picked up toward the end of the quarter as the surge in cases abated. Leading the way were leases signed by law firms in northern Delaware.

The vacancy rate in northern Delaware decreased by eight-tenths of one percent to 17.3%. Rents rose slightly.


The overall  Philadelphia regional office market, while showing signs of improvement, continues to struggle with the return to office concerns.

According to the Kastle Systems’ March 2022 occupancy barometer, the Delaware Valley has seen 37.4% of its workforce return to the office. This remains below the current major metro average of 40%.

The Delaware office market saw more than 70,000 square feet of positive absorption as tenants, notably law firms, signed longer-term leases.

It marked a reversal from tenants signing shorter-term leases.

The northern Delaware office market also saw a decline in subleased space that comes when tenants move out and seek replacements to fulfill the terms of their leases.

Still, nearly 288,000 square feet of office space remains on the sublease market, with much of that figure coming from 400 Commerce Drive in the Newark area.