U.S. CRE market shows mixed results, still improving

Commercial real estate is improving slowly.

A recent report from CBRE Econometric Advisors showed that U.S. commercial property management companies may have witnessed some good news and bad during the first quarter of 2012.

The commercial market trends report showed that the office vacancy rate remained the same in the first quarter when compared to the previous period, according to the report. In addition, the national rate of industrial availability dropped to 13.4 percent during the quarter, a 20 basis point decline.

"The most important economic news in Q1 2012 was the pick-up in hiring, but so far we have only seen strong improvement in the multi-family sector," said Jon Southard, managing director for CBRE-EA. "For property types with longer leases, the employment gains served mostly to fill in "shadow vacancy" – space that was previously leased but not used.

The report added that there was no change in the retail availability rate, which was 13.1 percent during the first quarter. Furthermore, apartment demand continued to rise, as vacancies fell to 5.1 percent last quarter. This was 90 basis points lower than the same point in 2011, as well as being the most noticeable improvement since the first quarter of 2010.

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