HOUSTON (Colliers International) – The city’s office leasing activity got a boost in third quarter 2012, and Colliers International says credit goes to the area’s strong job growth.

According to the firm, the MSA added 89,500 jobs during the year ending August 2012, an annual increase of 3.5 percent. The city’s unemployment rate fell from 8.6 percent a year ago to 7 percent.

Here’s how Colliers said that affected the office sector:

Third-quarter leasing activity reached 2.6 million sf, 1.5 million sf of which was Class-B space.
4.1 million sf of new office construction is in the pipeline, 58 percent of which is preleased.
Office market posted 767,000 sf of positive absorption in the third quarter, pushing the year-to-date total to 3.2 million sf.
Overall vacancy levels fell to 14.2 percent, an annual decrease of 180 basis points. Citywide average rental rate increased from $22.93 to $23.61 per sf over the year.