Last quarter we reported that the US office market was showing signs of fatigue, and from a macro perspective, things didn’t change much in Q2. Vacancy was unchanged for the third straight quarter, average rental rates were done a penny, deliveries were fl at and net absorption was just slightly higher than it was in Q1. Sublease inventory also moved up again, continuing its steady rise.
Despite robust levels of new construction, the supply of quality industrial space continues to thin in markets large and small across the country. Major distribution hubs continue to see the most construction and state-of-the-art distribution facilities account for the lion’s share of the new space being built. Supply in mature, infill markets like Los Angeles and the New York area are running at critically low levels, which is forcing big users to look outside preferred areas in order to expand. The industrial base is actually shrinking in some markets, as older product is being repurposed to so-called higher uses. On the other hand, big hubs with land to spare like Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta are experiencing record levels of new construction and absorption, along with strong rent growth.
While the retail market metrics for the US still indicate relative good health, retailers and retail property owners across the country are facing significant headwinds as they adjust to emerging consumer spending trends. Large department store operators like Macy’s, Sears, JC Penny and others are grabbing headlines with major store closing announcements, and that has also put the spotlight on the struggles of major regional malls that, for decades,
have depended on these anchor tenants to attract shoppers. Declining mall foot traffic has also impacted sales for other retailers, particularly in the clothing industry, who are also scaling back on brick-and-mortar locations.