Norris, Beggs & Simpson has released its Fourth Quarter 2009 quarterly reports for office, industrial, retail and multifamily commercial real estate, as well as its economic report.
Office vacancy increased slightly to 11.81% in Central City and 20.95% in the suburban areas. The Northwest submarket saw some activity – the 87,976 sf redevelopment Soho 321 delivered, and a few leases were signed at Machine Works. Vancouver vacancy was flat at 18.56%, with positive absorption of 22,488 sf.
Industrial vacancy decreased to 14.85%, with 55,308 sf absorbed. This was the first positive absorption since Third Quarter of 2008. A number of sizeable leases were signed in North/Northeast, including MOR Furniture for Less leasing 156,000 sf at Kelley Point Distribution, and Rose City Printing & Packaging leasing 62,000 sf at Sandy Boulevard Business Park. Flex vacancy rose slightly to 16.16%.
The retail market saw some improvement this quarter as vacancy decreased more than half a percentage point to 7.4%, with 349,919 sf absorbed. The 140,000 sf Cascade Station Target delivered, and better than expected holiday retail sales results were encouraging.
Multifamily vacancy rose nearly a percentage point to 5.43%; a seasonal uptick in vacancy is to be expected, but this rise was more significant. Rents were largely flat. While multifamily permitting and construction is down, opportunities exist for developers to acquire buildable land at substantially lower prices. Yet barriers to development include lack of capital and uncertainty of future rental rates.
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