Raleigh area awash in office space

A wave of empty offices splashed across the Raleigh Triangle during the first quarter as the demand for space waned amid a deepening recession.

The Triangle's office vacancy rate, an indicator of the region's economic health, surged to 16.1 percent during the first three months of the year, according to a Highwoods Properties survey of 43 million square feet of rentable office buildings in the Triangle.

The last time it was that high was in early 2004, at the tail end of the tech bust. The rate was up from 12.5 percent during the same quarter in 2008, registering as the biggest year-over-year jump in at least five years.

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