Report: Q2 vacancy declines across all commercial sectors, including retail

Boston -- A report released Tuesday by CB Richard Ellis found that, despite concerns about the pace of economic recovery and lukewarm employment growth, the U.S. commercial real estate market showed improvement across all property sectors in the second quarter of 2012.

Retail properties, which have generally lagged other property sectors during the recovery, saw a slight improvement in availability, which fell to 13% during the second quarter.

“The commercial real estate recovery remained intact in the second quarter, despite growing worries about the global economy,” said Jon Southard, managing director, CBRE. “With construction well below typical levels in a recovery, any and all improvements in demand get channeled into a lower vacancy rate.”    

A majority of the retail markets recorded either flat or declining availability rates compared to Q1 2012.  Notable performers included Bakersfield, Calif.; Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Providence, R.I.; and San Diego. Each of these markets recorded a decline of at or above 70 basis points.  On the other end of the spectrum, markets such as Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville; and Richmond, Va. recorded gains in availability rates of at or over 70 basis points in the second quarter. Most markets are still hovering at or above their Q2 2011 availability rates, according to CBRE.

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