HOUSTON (CBRE) – Employment growth and tight office market conditions are driving domestic and foreign investor interest in the city’s central business district, according to a new report released this week by CBRE Global Research and Consulting.

From December 2009 through May 2013, Houston added 291,200 jobs, representing a 265 percent recovery rate, eclipsing the rate of recovery in the top four U.S. gateway markets — New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. Houston’s economy continues to rely on the energy industry, particularly the increase in oil and natural gas production.

In addition, the CBRE report states Houston Class-A office vacancy has remained low, asking rental rates have remained relatively stable and pricing has almost returned to prerecession peak rates. This is particularly prevalent in the downtown area.

Given the near-term supply and demand outlook, the downtown Houston office market will likely continue to tighten, CBRE says.