Area CRE markets post strong Q4 results

The southeastern Wisconsin industrial, office and retail real estate markes all absorbed a significant amount of space during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest report from the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin and Xceligent.

The industrial market continues to lead the region with 1.6 million square feet of absorption during the fourth quarter, the 15th consecutive quarter of positive absorption for the region’s industrial market. The fourth quarter absorption was the highest for the region since the first quarter of 2011.

The region’s industrial space vacancy rate is now at 6.1 percent, down from 7.4 percent a year ago, according to Xceligent.
The southeastern Wisconsin industrial market had 4.3 million square feet of positive absorption for all of 2013 and has absorbed more than 17.5 million square feet of space since the second quarter of 2010.

Waukesha County led the region with 582,043 square feet of positive industrial space absorption in the fourth quarter, and 1.86 million for the year, followed by Kenosha County with 557,978 square feet of positive absorption in the fourth quarter, and 1.66 million for the year.

Meanwhile, the region’s long struggling office market is showing some signs of life. The southeastern Wisconsin office market posted 134,361 square feet of net positive absorption in the fourth quarter and 314,280 square feet of net positive absorption for the year. The fourth quarter absorption was the highest for the region’s office market since the second quarter of 2012.

The suburban office markets outperformed the downtown Milwaukee central business district office market during the fourth quarter. The suburbs posted 159,749 square feet of direct positive absorption during the fourth quarter while the central business district posted 8,605 square feet of direct positive absorption during the quarter.

The region’s office space vacancy rate is now at 20.4 percent, down from 21.6 percent a year ago. The class A office space vacancy rate is at 13.8 percent.

The region’s retail market also performed well in the fourth quarter with 188,082 square feet of positive absorption and 571,661 square feet of positive absorption for all of 2013.

The vacancy rate for the region’s retail market has been flat this year and is at 7.7 percent, according to the CARW and Xceligent report.

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