From today’s U-T (thanks Kwaping!):

An excerpt:

San Diego’s office market reached the 20 percent vacancy rate for the first time in 16 years, CB Richard Ellis said yesterday in its third-quarter report on the commercial real estate market.

The rate was even worse when factoring in the sublease space available, which raised the vacancy level to 25.6 percent.

To put the statistics in brick-and-mortar terms, 14.5 million square feet out of a 56.6-million-square-foot base equates to nearly all the office space in downtown and Mission Valley, the region’s two biggest office markets.

Mark Reid, the brokerage’s regional managing director, said that while the vacancy rate may have been higher in past recessions, the quantity of vacant space has never been so large. However, the empty offices offer opportunity for bargain-seeking tenants, he said.

“It’s a great time to be a tenant if you’re a steady, proven business with a good, solid financial statement,” Reid said. “There are some terrific deals to buy buildings and lease space.”

The prospects for improvement in the vacancy rate look bleak, the brokerage report said:

“The recovery period will likely begin at either the end of 2011 or early 2012 with office employment and net absorption levels returning to a positive trend.”

(says who, his crystal ball?)

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