NAR’s latest —Commercial Real Estate Outlook offers overall projections for four major commercial sectors and analyzes quarterly data in the office, industrial, retail and multifamily markets. Historic data for metro areas is provided by REIS Inc., a source of commercial real estate performance information.
Office vacancy rates are forecast to slightly decline from 15.7 percent in the fourth quarter to 15.6 percent through the fourth quarter of 2015.
The markets with the lowest office vacancy rates in the fourth quarter are Washington, D.C., at 9.3 percent; New York City, 9.6 percent; Little Rock, Ark., 11.6 percent; San Francisco, 12.2 percent; and Seattle, at 12.8 percent.
Office rents are projected to increase 2.4 percent in 2014 and 3.3 percent next year. Net absorption of office space in the U.S., which includes the leasing of new space coming on the market as well as space in existing properties, is likely to total 35.6 million square feet this year and 48.8 million in 2015.
Industrial vacancy rates are expected to fall from 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter to 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The areas with the lowest industrial vacancy rates currently are Orange County, Calif., with a vacancy rate of 3.6 percent; Los Angeles, 3.7 percent; Seattle, 5.8 percent; Miami, 6.0; and Palm Beach, Fla., at 6.5 percent.
Annual industrial rents should rise 2.4 percent this year and 2.9 percent in 2015. Net absorption of industrial space nationally is expected to total 110.7 million square feet in 2014 and 102.5 million square feet next year.
Vacancy rates in the retail market are expected to decline from 9.7 percent currently to 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Currently, the markets with the lowest retail vacancy rates include San Francisco, at 3.5 percent; Fairfield County, Conn., 3.9 percent; San Jose, Calif., 4.6 percent; Orange County, Calif., 5.2 percent; and Long Island, N.Y., at 5.3 percent.
Average retail rents are forecast to rise 2.0 percent in 2014 and 2.5 percent next year. Net absorption of retail space is likely to total 11.4 million square feet this year and jump to 18.9 million in 2015.
The apartment rental market – multifamily housing – should see vacancy rates slightly increase from 4.0 percent currently to 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Vacancy rates below 5 percent are generally considered a landlord’s market, with demand justifying higher rent.
Areas with the lowest multifamily vacancy rates currently are Orange County, Calif., and Sacramento, Calif., at 2.2 percent; Providence, R.I., and New Haven, Conn., at 2.3 percent; and Hartford, Conn., at 2.5 percent.
Average apartment rents are projected to rise 4.0 this year and 3.9 percent in 2015. Multifamily net absorption is expected to total 216,300 units in 2014 and 171,200 next year.