Commercial construction continues to slacken in 2010, yet stabilization is taking hold in the office market, according to presenters in a mid-year outlook at the BOMA 2010 International Conference & The Every Building Show, which took place in Long Beach, CA, at the end of June.
The presenters – Henry Chamberlain, President and COO of BOMA International, Washington, DC, and Kurt Padavano, COO, Advance Realty Group, Bedminster, NJ – noted that April’s year-over-year commercial construction value was down 36.8 percent, and office construction was down 29.4 percent. However, office vacancy has swelled only marginally so far this year, from 17.4 to 17.8 percent. San Antonio and San Jose have reported declines in office vacancy this year. Moreover, the NCREIF Property Index turned positive during the first quarter at 0.76 percent.
Other signs of improving market fundamentals include an increase of 3 points to 76 in the Real Estate Roundtable’s overall sentiment index during the second quarter. Padavano and Chamberlain also noted that property pricing is stabilizing and capital markets are showing some signs of thawing.
For the near term, Chamberlain and Padavano see several opportunities for high-quality office assets in this market, including sustainable, energy-efficient product as well as transit-oriented development.