March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. office vacancy rate for the first quarter rose to 16.5 percent, the highest since 2015, despite a healthy job market, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.
Construction and net absorption, measured in terms of available office space sold in the market during a certain time period, were above their average quarterly levels of 2017 at 10.9 million square feet and 6.2 million square feet, respectively.
"The market seemed to have stagnated in 2017 as companies had put off making office leasing decisions until a fiscal stimulus was passed," Reis said in the report.
The report also expects the passing of the U.S. Tax Reform and Jobs Act to spur stronger office leasing this year.
During the quarter, 41 of the 79 metros reported a rise in vacancy while New York City once again had the lowest vacancy rate among the metros. (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)