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Tag Archives: office


Return-to-office is flattening as companies navigate employee pushback, commutes, higher gas prices

Following the Omicron variant peak this past winter, a moment was seized upon by many U.S. companies. After many fits and starts, it was time for their employees to return to the office, at least a couple of days a week.

Companies that track office utilization and physical occupancy reported a gradual uptick in office usage this spring, as companies began to figure out the new hybrid work balance. Some have set which days those are; others, wanting to lean into the newly discovered work of flexible work, have given workers choice on when they want to come in.

But after an uptick observed this spring, office-space usage has mostly flattened in the past several weeks, prompting the question of whether current space usage is the actual new normal, or whether more ground will be made up in the coming months.

Boston-based workplace platform Robin Powered Inc. tracks office-space usage via aggregating desk-booking metrics across its customer base, which chiefly includes companies that’ve adopted hybrid-work models. The week of April 25, the percentage of available desk space being used in offices was at 21%, certainly a material rise from the 6% seen Jan. 10. Since then, it’s hovered in the low 20% range, dipping to 17% the week of May 30 before rising to 20% again the week of June 6 and June 13.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia health care space, industrial space, retail space, office space, land or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis, healthcare space, office space, retail space, land and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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How Office Use Is Evolving the Urban Core

The pandemic has catalyzed an undeniable change in office use, but many companies still have questions and uncertainties about how these changes will take shape and how to plan workplace strategy for the future. Urban centers have, perhaps, been the most disrupted by these changes, with the majority of office space located in the urban core. Data from Dr. Tracy Loh, a fellow with the Brookings Institution, shows that 71% of US office space is located in a downtown market. This is going to be among the biggest challenges for office users and office owners going forward.

*Article courtesy of Globest

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia health care space, industrial space, retail space, office space, land or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis, healthcare space, office space, retail space, land and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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Office demand in major US markets rises in March but ‘too early to tell’ long-term

At least one tracker of office-market demand in major U.S. markets shows an improvement in March, after five months of stagnation.

VTS Inc.’s VTS Office Demand Index, or VODI, grew 20% in March, with all but one of the core U.S. office markets, Seattle, seeing new demand for office space increase. The VODI in March was 66, with a score of 100 representing typical pre-pandemic levels of demand.

The VODI measures unique-tenant tour requirements across 12 billion square feet of office space the company, which operates a leasing and asset-management platform, has insight into.

Eli Gilbert, head of market research at VTS, said the improvement in March is following seasonal trends. The Omicron variant likely impacted activity in the first two months of the year, which also tend to be somewhat slower months for the office market.

While the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over, there’s a growing disconnect between it and the broader office market. In 2021, for example, the VODI tended to rise and fall based on surges in case counts, such as the spread of the Delta variant in the summer of 2021, for example.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia health care space, industrial space, retail space, office space, land or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis, healthcare space, office space, retail space, land and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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WCRE FIRST QUARTER 2022 REPORT

After a Pause, Southern New Jersey & Philly Markets Appear to have Overcome Omicron

Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its analysis of the first quarter that the post-pandemic recovery is back on track.

WCRE FIRST QUARTER 2022 REPORTNow that the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 is finally declining, there has been a rapid expansion of economic activity that has had positive impacts on many CRE sectors.

Download Printable Report (PDF) >>>

“What a difference one quarter can make. Just a few months ago, the Omicron variant was dampening demand, increasing vacancy, and generally creating uncertainty. Now, we’re seeing a CRE market that is much improved on many indicators, and continuing to strengthen.” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Employment, retail sales, and industrial production all expanded throughout Q1, and CRE is in a strong position as a result.”

In the first quarter there were approximately 479,886 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester). New tenant leases comprised approximately 296,152 square feet, or about 62% of all deals for the three counties. These totals represent more than 50 percent improvements over the fourth quarter of 2021, which itself had improved significantly over the third quarter.

Other office market highlights from the report:

• Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 12.15 percent, a significant improvement over the previous quarter. 
• The sales market maintained momentum, with 1,167,321 square feet actively on the market or under agreement.
• Both the total dollars and square feet of completed sales were more than double the totals for the fourth quarter, with $78,365,469 in completed sales comprising 956,596 square feet.
• Average rents for Class A & B product remain unchanged, as they continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$15.00/sf NNN or $20.00-$25.00/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have hovered near this range for more than a year.

WCRE has expanded into southeastern Pennsylvania, and the firm’s quarterly reports now include a section on transactions, rates, and news from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Highlights from the first quarter in Pennsylvania include:

• Vacancy in Philadelphia’s office leasing market is still 20% below the three-year average before the pandemic. There were modest gains in 2021, but those have been all but erased in the past few months. Net absorption was negative 1.3 million for the past 12 months.
• As expected, the industrial sector in Philadelphia led all sectors. Over the past 12 months, 14.8 million new square feet of inventory became available, and the sector saw 15.6 million square feet in net absorption. Rents grew an average 12.3%.
• Retail remains the sector most responsive to market conditions, but it has also proved to be the most adaptable. Average retail net absorption in Philadelphia continues to improve and was at 1.6 million square feet for the 12 months just concluded. Average rents grew at 2.1%.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey retail market. Retail highlights from the report include:

• Retail vacancy in Camden County posted an improvement to 9.7 percent, while average rents jumped $1.70, in the range of $13.13/sf NNN.
• Burlington County retail vacancy improved to 8.2 percent in Q1, giving back improvements from the previous quarter. Average rents fell slightly, to the range of $14.31/sf NNN.
• Gloucester County stayed unchanged at 11.3 percent, building on a solid improvement last year, with average rents inching up further, to the range of $16.38/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at www.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.comwww.southjerseymedicalspace.comwww.southjerseyretailspace.comwww.phillyofficespace.comwww.phillyindustrialspace.comwww.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com

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Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt on why in-office work is better

After more than two years of remote work and multiple return-to-office delays, most Google employees are heading back to the office at least part-time — and ex-Google CEO and chairman Eric Schmidt couldn’t be happier about it.

″[I]t’s important that these people be at the office, in my view,” Schmidt, 66, tells CNBC Make It, arguing that for decades, the in-office style has been proven effective. “I’m a traditionalist.”

Starting Monday, Google’s hybrid work arrangement kicked off, with most employees expected to be in the office at least three days per week. Schmidt, who served as Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011, helped transform the then-young Silicon Valley start-up into today’s $1.9 trillion global tech behemoth — and credits in-office work for much of that growth.

*Article courtesy of CNBC

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia health care space, industrial space, retail space, office space, land or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis, healthcare space, office space, retail space, land and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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Here’s how major companies are approaching the return to office

After two years of uncertainty and false starts, many companies are setting their return plans in motion. 

From tech giants to financial firms to small businesses, numerous companies have announced return plans as the Omicron variant has faded. 

Many companies are still pondering their plans, trying to balance their desire for a return with employees’ growing preferences for flexibility. 

Experts say the decision to return is one that can take several different forms and shouldn’t be taken lightly. They encourage companies to seek feedback, find common ground and accurately communicate the reasoning and the rules around the return. 

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal 

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia health care space, industrial space, retail space, office space, land or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis, healthcare space, office space, retail space, land and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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Office Occupancy Hits New Pandemic-Era High

Despite the lingering effects of Thanksgiving dinners across the nation, more workers returned to office buildings in the first week of December than at any point in the last 18 months.

Average office building occupancy across the 10 largest office markets rose to 40.6% on Dec. 1, 8.1% higher than the post-holiday week last year, according to Kastle Systems, which tracks electronic keycard, fob and building access data.

Texas and California continue to be at the extremes in office return: Austin and Houston, at 59.3% and 54.9% of pre-pandemic levels, respectively, have the most heavily trafficked office buildings, while San Francisco saw occupancy hit a pandemic high-water mark of 28.3%.

While the coronavirus’s delta variant continues to spread and send cases rising nationally, fresh concerns have arisen over the omicron variant, with early reports suggesting the new variant is more contagious and less deterred by vaccines, although possibly less severeNineteen U.S. states have thus far reported cases of people affected by omicron.

The average office occupancy in Kastle’s 10-city barometer has been steadily increasing since September, when 33.6% of employees were back in the office. The legal industry has led the way in returning to the office, with law firms on average 56.3% occupied nationally.

While patrons have been filling up restaurants and fans have been crowding sports stadiums and concert halls, the return to the office has lagged, Kastle Chairman Mark Ein said. That dynamic has much to do with the C-suite, whose members feel a responsibility toward their employees and are reluctant to rush a return to the office.

*Article courtesy of Wall Street Journal

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia health care space, industrial space, retail space, office space, land or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis, healthcare space, office space, retail space, land and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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WCRE THIRD QUARTER 2021 REPORT

SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY MARKETS’ ANTICIPATED COMEBACK DELAYED BY DELTA VARIANT

Investment Activity & Large Transactions Regained Steam, While Industrial Continued To Lead The Way

Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its analysis of the third quarter that the Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania markets will have to wait a bit longer for the post-pandemic recovery. While CRE seemed to rebound along with the broader economy earlier this year, the Delta variant caused havoc in recent months.

Download Printable Report (PDF) >>>

At the beginning of 2021, with vaccines and optimism becoming widespread, many employers looked ahead to the week after Labor Day as the beginning of the official return to the office. The emergence of the Delta variant and breakthrough infections pushed the return date into 2022. The effects of this shift have reverberated throughout the economy, including the office and retail CRE markets.

“A few months ago, CRE performance was trending in a positive direction and seemed poised for a return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “While we are in a very positive investment transaction market, the Delta variant has put the office and retail markets into a holding pattern, but a comeback should still be on the horizon.”

In the third quarter there were approximately 225,717 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), a bit below the previous quarter.
New tenant leases comprised approximately 119,213 square feet, or about 53% of all deals for the three counties.

Other office market highlights from the report:

● Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 12.75 percent, an improvement of .85 of a point from the previous quarter.

● The sales market maintained momentum, with 1,200,393 square feet actively on the market or under agreement.

● There were $70,164,500 in completed sales comprising 709,032 square feet during Q3.

● Average rents for Class A & B product remain unchanged, as they continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$15.00/sf NNN or $20.00-$25.00/sf gross for the deals completed
during the quarter. These averages have hovered near this range for more than a year.

WCRE has expanded into southeastern Pennsylvania, and the firm’s quarterly reports now include a section on transactions, rates, and news from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Highlights from the third quarter in Pennsylvania include:

● The vacancy rate in Philadelphia’s office market remained unchanged in Q3, still at 10.3% after hovering near a 20-year low for months. For the past few months, nearly 15% of the total office space in Philadelphia has been listed for sale or lease.

● As in many recent reports, the industrial sector in Philadelphia continued its impressive run, buoyed by its integral role in e-commerce. The last year saw a remarkable 15.8 million SF of net absorption and 11.7% rent growth.

● Retail remains the sector most responsive to market conditions, but it has also proved to be the most adaptable. Average retail net absorption in Philadelphia went into a tailspin when the pandemic began, but for the 12 months just concluded, it is back in positive territory, at 273,000 square feet.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey retail market. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

● The Consumer Confidence Index declined steadily throughout the third quarter after posting five consecutive months of increases.

● Retail vacancy in Camden County posted a huge improvement of more than three points to 10.7 percent, while average rents fell more than one dollar, in the range of $11.81/sf NNN.

● Burlington County retail vacancy improved more than a point to 8.3 percent. But it is still above 7.6 percent, where it stood a year ago. Average rents dropped to the range of $13.93/sf NNN.

● Gloucester County posted a decrease of two points, to 14.5 after increasing throughout last year, with average rents virtually unchanged in the range of $14.04/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at www.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.comwww.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com

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WCRE SECOND QUARTER 2021 REPORT

WCRE SECOND QUARTER 2021 REPORT: SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY MARKETS FOCUS ON LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

As the COVID-19 Threat Recedes, Good Economic News Helps Shore Up CRE 

WCRE SECOND QUARTER 2021 REPORTCommercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its analysis of the second quarter that the Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania markets are cautiously entering the post-pandemic recovery. Although there are still lingering issues, CRE seems to be rebounding along with the broader economy.

“Fundamentals are tracking in a positive direction, and while various challenges remain, conditions are in place that point to a return to pre-pandemic CRE performance,”

said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE.  There were approximately 233,544 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), and while this figure is not indicative of a rebound, it marks the return of net positive absorption. New tenant leases comprised approximately 123,358 square feet, or about 53% of all deals for the three counties. During the previous quarter, this figure was only 8% of the total.

Download Printable Report (PDF) >>>

Other office market highlights from the report:
• Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 13.6 percent, virtually unchanged from the previous quarter, and holding steady two points higher than at this point last year. 

• The sales market picked up momentum, with 1,257,385 square feet actively on the market or under agreement.

• Average rents for Class A & B product remain unchanged, as they continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$15.00/sf NNN or $20.00-$25.00/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have hovered near this range for more than a year.

WCRE has expanded into southeastern Pennsylvania, and the firm’s quarterly reports now include a section on transactions, rates, and news from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Highlights from the second quarter in Pennsylvania include:

• The vacancy rate in Philadelphia’s office market ticked upward again in Q2, and now stands at 10.3%, after hovering near a 20-year low for months. Nearly 15% of the total office space in Philadelphia is listed for sale or lease.

• The industrial sector in Philadelphia remained the bright spot, buoyed by its integral role in the new types of commerce necessitated by the health and safety measures. The last year saw a staggering 9.9 million SF of net absorption and 10.1% rent growth.

• Retail remains the sector most responsive to market conditions, but it has also proved to be the most adaptable. Some essential categories of retail thrived by innovating at the point-of-sale. Average retail net absorption went into free fall during the pandemic, but for the 12 months just concluded, it is -991,000 square feet. While this is a large negative number, it indicates an improvement of several hundred square feet for Q2.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey retail market. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

• The Consumer Confidence Index has been rising steadily since it turned around in February.

• Retail vacancy in Camden County jumped more than three points to 14.3 percent after posting a large increase in the middle of 2020. While average rents rose more than one dollar, in the range of $12.86/sf NNN.

• Burlington County retail vacancy dropped to 9.6 percent, an improvement of more than three quarters of a point. But it is still well above 7.6 percent, where it stood a year ago. Average rents increased slightly, to the range of $14.59/sf NNN.

• Gloucester County saw another quarterly increase, to 16.5 after increasing throughout last year, with average rents virtually unchanged in the range of $14.08/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

 

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at ww.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.comwww.southjerseymedicalspace.comwww.southjerseyretailspace.comwww.phillyofficespace.com,  www.phillyindustrialspace.comwww.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com

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The Future of Office Work has Arrived

Effective 6 AM on June 4, 2021, employers had the green light to require their employees to return to the office. Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 243 rescinds the requirement that businesses and nonprofits must accommodate telework arrangements to the maximum extent practicable, and reduce on-site staff to the minimum needed for operations. The order also states that employers no longer need to require masks and social distancing in the workplace for those fully vaccinated.

The speed of the economic recovery has been stunning, as vaccinations and stimulus funds are driving consumer spending. The U.S. economy is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels later this month. “Key sections of our region’s economy, however, are still reliant on the tourism and travel industries that may continue to be hobbled by slower vaccinations and travel restrictions abroad,” according to Duncan Kisia, a leading economist with Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, who spoke at a recent NAIOP New Jersey forum.

This economic rebound is fueling job growth in office-using sectors, although tenant safety concerns remain a drag on office leasing. According to NAIOP’s Q2 2021 Office Space Demand Forecast, negative net absorption will moderate over the next two quarters, with a return to positive absorption in the fourth quarter of 2021. National office space absorption is expected to stabilize by mid-2022, with quarterly figures expected to average 11.7 million square feet, in line with the 2015 to 2019 quarterly average of 11.6 million square feet. Most K-12 schools plan to resume full in-person instruction in the fall, and that should contribute to a more widespread return to the office. This trend will only strengthen if Congress passes a significant infrastructure package, which is likely.

Although tenants have begun to return to offices, it remains to be seen how widely employers will adopt long-term remote work policies. Surveys showed remote work was successful for many firms, and it is clear that many will partially incorporate this model into future plans. Remote work will likely limit net absorption for the next several quarters. Due to population and pricing shifts, experts expect suburban office space to be in relatively greater demand than central business district space in the near term. Tenant comfort may lead to less dense office layouts than before the pandemic, partially offsetting declines in demand due to remote work.

The NAIOP Forecast assumes a continued rebound in real GDP for the remainder of 2021, 2022 and 2023. Real GDP is expected to expand by 7.7 percent in the next two years, with average unemployment of approximately 4.5 percent. The forecast also assumes that Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) inflation will average 2 percent in the next two years. It generally takes several quarters for office net absorption rates to recover from the effects of an economic recession. Under three different scenarios, the office market would return to normal net absorption by the second half of 2022. The baseline forecast assumes that the recent recession will lead to a 15 percent reduction in net absorption (factoring in remote work arrangements), which is in line with what I am hearing.

“Employers planning for a transition to a post-pandemic workplace are faced with a host of novel issues — and addressing a disconnect with employees about what the future of work and the return to physical workspaces looks like it is at the top of the list,” according to The Littler Annual Employer Survey Report released last month. While 71 percent of employers surveyed believe that most of their employees who can work remotely prefer a hybrid model and only 4 percent prefer full-time in-person work, 28 percent of those employers plan to have most employees return full time and in person, and 55 percent will offer a hybrid model.

Questions about returning to the physical workplace and vaccinations are only part of the conundrum facing employers. COVID-19 accelerated the trend of technology displacing employees, and more workers than ever are suffering from “crisis fatigue” and burnout. Couple these ongoing pandemic-related workforce management issues with anticipated federal regulatory changes, and the challenges ahead are daunting. On the regulatory front, most employers (81 percent) are concerned about how changes to paid sick and family leave requirements — a promised Biden administration initiative — will impact business in the next year. Other top concerns: income equality measures (64 percent); inclusion, equity and diversity considerations (55 percent); and health care (51 percent). With more Washington gridlock expected, state and local regulations are high on executives’ radar, with 83 percent expressing moderate or significant concern over associated enforcement and compliance expectations.

More than half of respondents are either moderately or extremely concerned about maintaining company culture, collaboration and employee loyalty in a remote work environment (57 percent) and the impact of the pandemic on employee mental health and well-being (52 percent). Employers are making strides to address these issues (e.g., 84 percent are offering mental health services and/or Employee Assistance Programs) but some may have room for improvement in areas such as implementing new ways to reward employees for their hard work, and training managers to help respond to employees in need.

Now that the future has arrived, I am sure that all employers would agree that employees are the most critical resource for success. Striking the right balance for the new workplace will likely be case-sensitive, and will no doubt take some time and a great deal of patience.

*Article Courtesy of RE-NJ.com

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia cannabis health care space, New Jersey or Philadelphia industrial space, New Jersey or Philadelphia retail space, and New Jersey or Philadelphia office space or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia cannabis healthcare space, New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for New Jersey or Philadelphia office space, Philadelphia or New Jersey retail space, or New Jersey or Philadelphia industrial space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need – a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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Covid-19 is affecting CRE lease negotiations. Here’s what experts are seeing.

How will Covid-19 affect the future of commercial real estate? It’s a multibillion-dollar question that’s been debated since the start of the pandemic.

With many businesses still plotting their returns to the office, the answer remains to be determined. 

But experts say the effects of Covid-19 are likely to reverberate in the industry for years to come, and commercial lease negotiations — particularly those over the next year — are likely to provide some early clues about the pandemic’s effects.

Industry experts have a few ideas about what to expect. Especially in the short term, experts say it’s likely tenants will have more leverage to negotiate terms. That’s particularly true for larger tenants and those that draw other tenants or customers to a property.

One potential area of focus is specific clauses in leases that could provide protection in the event of a future pandemic.

Maria V. Bernstein, a real estate attorney at San Francisco-based SSL Law Firm LLP, expects more discussion around force majeure or unforeseen circumstances clauses in the wake of Covid-19. 

As shutdowns and shifts to remote work dominated the early days of the pandemic, Bernstein said many companies rushed to review their force majeure clauses, generally finding little to no relief. 

In the aftermath of the pandemic, Bernstein said it’s likely many tenants will be negotiating those clauses to create an avenue for relief in future situations like Covid-19.

She also expects companies to take a closer look at condemnation clauses and their potential role in a scenario where the government shuts down businesses or limits capacities. 

Bernstein said condemnation clauses often say that if there is a “taking” by a government, then the lease is automatically terminated. 

In a case where a government limits capacity to 25%, for instance, she said a good argument can be made that a government took 75% of the space, which could create leverage for potential relief. 

“Everybody looked at force majeure. People looked at the environmental clause. People even looked at casualty. Those clauses helped almost no one. I’ve looked at it,” she said. “But the condemnation takings clause has given me leverage.”

When using condemnation clauses to find leverage, Bernstein said the use clause is very important.

“The narrower the better for tenants, but in negotiating leases, the broader the better,” Bernstein said. “Since we don’t have crystal balls, this is something that probably won’t change in lease negotiations, but landlords can take comfort when granting broad use rights that this may ultimately benefit them should we face future catastrophes that lead to the type of government-mandated shutdowns we have just seen.” 

Tim Blair, president of Chicago-based CCIM Institute, a global commercial real estate investment education group, said he expects to see more interest in common-area-maintenance fee caps and lease structures that allow tenants to benefit from decreased maintenance costs. As we’ve noted, CAM charges are an area where landlords are seeing more scrutiny. 

Blair said Covid-19 will likely accelerate the trend of triple-net leases for office buildings — something that was already becoming more common in newer buildings in larger cities. 

Those arrangements allow landlords to allocate specific expenses to specific office suites. In a shutdown situation like Covid-19, that would allow tenants to benefit from an expense reduction — a benefit many tenants didn’t have during the pandemic. 

Blair said he also envisions more tenants will push for being able to opt-out of certain services, such as janitorial expenses, in a future scenario with offices being shut down for a long period of time. 

Evelyn Ward, Houston-based vice president of agency leasing at Transwestern, envisions health and wellness amenities will be a more prevalent discussion between tenants and landlords in lease negotiations. But she’s not referring to gyms or outdoor spaces.

She said more tenants will be asking about specialized air filters, touchless amenities and fixtures, and enhanced janitorial services, among other options. 

“It’s a constant conversation, and it’s not a one-time thing,” Ward said. “A lot of it is because of what’s being demanded by the employee.”

She said health and wellness considerations are likely to become an expected standard like a conference room. 

Ward said it will likely be a particularly heavy focus in the short term, as companies prioritize creating a safe and welcoming environment that makes it easier to bring workers back to the office. 

“HR has been a part of the leasing decision forever. I think (Covid-19) just ratchets it up to another degree,” Ward said.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about New Jersey or Philadelphia industrial space, New Jersey or Philadelphia retail space, and New Jersey or Philadelphia office space or other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in both New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, and New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage, and advisory firm, is a premier New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers.

A New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new New Jersey and Philadelphia office space, New Jersey and Philadelphia retail space, or New Jersey and Philadelphia industrial space with the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in both Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for New Jersey or Philadelphia office space, Philadelphia or New Jersey retail space, or New Jersey or Philadelphia industrial space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the New Jersey and Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need – a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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WCRE FIRST QUARTER 2021 REPORT

WCRE FIRST QUARTER 2021 REPORT: SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY MARKETS DOWN DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, BUT NOT OUT

Good News on Public Health and the Economy Holds the Promise of Better Days Ahead for CRE

Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its analysis of the first quarter of the new year that the Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania markets may be through the worst of the downturn brought on a year ago by the pandemic. The widespread availability of effective COVID-19 vaccinations, coupled with large-scale financial relief from the federal government, may bring an optimistic note back to the market. For the moment, market performance on several indicators remains off.

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“CRE performance in the first quarter seems to be tracking with our lived experience. As expected, office vacancy is quite high, while demand for industrial space is surging,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Market fundamentals are shaky, but there are pockets of strength and resiliency.”

There were approximately 555,988 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which was more than double the previous quarter. New tenant leases comprised approximately 44,952 square feet, or only about 8% of all deals for the three counties.

Other office market highlights from the report:
• Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 13.55 percent, virtually unchanged from the previous quarter, and an increase of two full points since Q2 last year.

• Unsurprisingly, office vacancy rates have risen throughout the region. At 11.2%, the rate is the highest it’s been since 2014.

• On the other end of pandemic-induced usage shifts, the already strong industrial vacancy rate improved to 5.4%.

• Average rents for Class A & B product remain unchanged, as they continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$15.00/sf NNN or $20.00-$25.00/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have hovered near this range for more than a year.

WCRE has expanded into southeastern Pennsylvania, and the firm’s quarterly reports now include a section on transactions, rates, and news from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Highlights from the first quarter in Pennsylvania include:

• The vacancy rate in Philadelphia’s office market rose another half a point, and now stands at 10.1 percent, after hovering near a 20-year low. Despite the pandemic fallout, the city is still seeing rent and occupancy levels ahead of other major markets.

• The industrial sector in Philadelphia remained the bright spot. The last year saw 4 million SF of net absorption and 7.8% rent growth.

• Retail remains the most responsive to market conditions and the most vulnerable sector. Infection prevention measures and other economic pressures have brought existing issues from before the pandemic into sharper relief. Average retail net absorption for 2020 was 1.8 million square feet, but for the 12 months just concluded, it is -1.4 million square feet. 

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey retail market. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

• The Consumer Confidence Index rose slightly in February, before rocketing to its highest level in a year in March.

• Retail vacancy in Camden County ticked up to 10.9 percent after posting a large increase in the middle of 2020. While average rents changed little, in the range of $11.76/sf NNN.

• Burlington County inched up to 10.4 percent, representing a small increase on top of the jump from 7.6 percent in Q3 2020. Average rents increased to the range of $14.39/sf NNN.

• Gloucester County saw the biggest jump, up to 15.9 after increasing throughout last year, with average rents up almost a full dollar per square foot in the range of $14.11/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at ww.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.comwww.southjerseymedicalspace.comwww.southjerseyretailspace.comwww.phillyofficespace.com,  www.phillyindustrialspace.comwww.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com

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