2017: Strong Year for Commercial Real Estate

Strengthening demand from smaller markets will help the commercial sector see stable growth and offer “decent” returns for investors in 2017, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

NAR predicts that the national office vacancy rate will drop 1.1 percentage points to 12.1 percent this year. Job growth in the business and professional services sector is expected to increase the need for office space in 2017. The apartment sector is expected to remain the top performer.

Further, the vacancy rate in the industrial space is predicted to drop 1.3 percentage points to 7.1 percent, while retail space availability will likely drop slightly by 0.7 percentage points to 11.2 percent. The multifamily sector will likely have little change to its vacancy rate over the next year as apartment completions stay at 6.5 percent, NAR reports.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

What Home Buyers Do—and Do Not—Want

With the U.S. housing market finally picking back up, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a large study to pinpoint how recession may have influenced consumers’ lifestyle preferences and home wish lists.  Released this month, the survey found that Americans desire:

  • Energy Star appliances above all else
  • energy-efficient laundry rooms
  • high-end amenities such as kitchens with double sinks, French doors, and whole-house technology

What homeowners and buyers do not want, meanwhile, are:

  • elevators
  • golf course homes
  • laminate countertops

NAHB also determined that the outer suburbs are favored when it comes to home location, with just 8 percent of those queried citing a preference for living in a city center.  That is a departure from what those in the apartment sector believe: that recession and escalating gasoline prices are creating demand for urban lifestyles.

What Home Buyers Want,” CNBC Europe (Feb 25, 2013)