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Economic Report

TWIN CITIES MARKET SNAPSHOT

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Real Commercial Estate Market continues to perform admirably with office and industrial sectors demonstrating excellent performance throughout 2019.  The Markets characteristics remain upbeat and include positive net absorption of vacant space, moderate to low vacancy rates and measured new speculative development.  Economic conditions remain favorable however, recent statics raise concern for the continued overall economic growth in Minnesota and the USA.   While inflation continues to remain low at about 2% (annualized), unemployment has increased from 2.5% to 2.9% and median income for Minnesota households as stagnated year over year at $70,300-both still much better numbers than the national averages of 3.4% unemployment and median household income of $63,179 respectively. The 15 month trade war with China combined with all of the uncertainty in Washington DC (impeachment and gridlock) and slowing business investment-down 1% on an annualized rate last quarter create potential headwinds to sustained future economic growth.

Industrial Market


 
Industrial has been the best performing asset class of real estate since the Great Recession in 2009.  Vacancy rates are at an all-time low (4.9%) in a Twin City universe of 248 million square feet and have decreases by 1% since the beginning of 2019.

Net Absorption of available space stands at 2.73 million square feet through the third quarter of this year with bulk (high-bay) warehouse experiencing 1.74 million square feet of net absorption. Driving the net absorption has been e-commerce related companies localizing the distribution of almost everything now available on the internet.
To date there are 27 industrial projects under construction totaling 3.6 million square feet.   1.9 million square feet has already been delivered to the market.

Collectively, what all this most likely indicates is a continuation, at least through 2020, of relatively good conditions and performance for the industrial market.  The two current deterring factors, other than an economic slowdown, are the cost of tenant improvements and finding and hiring employees.

Office Market

The office market continues its long standing recovery albeit some sub markets are stronger than others.   The overall office vacancy rate for all Twin Cities office properties is 11.8%, which is down .8% from January 2019, however within multi-tenant properties the vacancy rate is 15.4%.  The northeast office market has the lowest vacancy rate at 8.6% and St. Paul CBD has the highest vacancy rate approaching 20%. Class A multi-tenant office space has the lowest vacancy rate at 12.5%, Class B Office space is at 17.7% and Class C is 13.8%.
Net absorption Year to Date is 363,871 square feet.  Actual absorption Year to Date is 504,247 square feet, however sublease space create 128,052 square feet of negative absorption.

The office market performance has instilled enough confidence in a local developer to spec a 361,104 square foot office building in the West End mixed use development named 10 West End. Net rental rates are projected to start at $25.50/sf.

One new office market characteristic that has been gaining momentum is the demand for building amenities.  Many office buildings have completed or are planning to complete updates to building common areas, add amenities such as work out areas, coffee bars, common area meeting spaces, food service, and concierge services among other things.  Many of today’s sophisticated tenants want space that is fun, functional and will retain and attract top talent in the current tight labor market.

MNCAR Industrial Market Trends | Q2 2019 | Minneapolis-St. Paul

Written by: MNCAR/Redi Comps
Economic Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) increased 40 basis points from 2.7% for May 2019 from 2.3% for May 2018.  The unemployment rate for the U.S. was at 3.6% in May 2019, down from 3.8% Y-o-Y for the US.  The Mpls-St. Paul MSA saw an increase in industrial job growth in manufacturing increasing 1,200 during the same period.
Market Overview
The Mpls-St.Paul industrial market consisting of 244M SF in eight counties across the metro posted over 829,000 SF of positive absorption for Q2 201\98.  The overall vacancy rate for the market stands at 5.0% and multi-tenant vacancy was 8.0% for Q2 2019.  The average asking lease low rate was $5.67 and high rate was $9.22 NNN for Mpls-St. Paul.  To date, there are 12 construction projects throughout the market totaling over 2.4M SF and 1.8M SF was delivered year to date.
Market Highlights
At the close of Q2 2019, the market experiences over 1.6M SF of leasing activity.  The vacancy rate finished the year at 5.0% in total with the Southeast and West markets being the tightest at 4.0% for all properties.  Illume held the top spot in absorption with 277,000 SF in the Northwest market.  The Northwest market is showing the highest vacancy rate at 6.1% for all properties while Northeast is highest for multi-tenant properties at 9.4%.
READ ENTIRE REPORT: Q2-19_Mpls-St_Paul_Industrial_Market_Report
 

MNCAR Office Market Trends | Q2-2019 | Minneapolis-St. Paul

Written By: MNCAR/Redi Comps
Economic Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) increased 40 basis points from 2.7% in May 2019 to 2.3% in May 2018. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was at 3.6% in May 2019, down from 3.8% for the Y-o-Y for the US.  The Mpls-St. Paul MSA saw a decrease in office job growth, professional, financial and information increased by 1,200 during the same period.

Market Overview
The Mpls-St.Paul office market, consisting of over 127M SF of space in seven counties across the metro posting 131,600 SF positive absorption for Q2 2019.  The vacancy rate for the market stands at 11.3% for all properties for Q2 2019.  Total year-to-date absorption is 256,750 SF.  Multi-tenant properties posted 14.9% with 175,000 SF positive absorption .  The average asking lease rate for Mpls-St. Paul came in at $24.30 PSF FSG. To date, there are 15 construction projects throughout the market totaling over 2.7M SF.
Market Highlights
During the second quarter 2019 the market experienced over 1.1M SF of leasing activity and the vacancy rate finished the quarter at 11.3% in total. Class A properties ended the year at 8.6% for all properties and 12.7% for multi-tenant properties.  The West market posted the lowest vacancy rate at 11.3% for multi-tenant properties.  For the second quarter the West Market carried the market with the most positive absorption of 63,000 SF.  St Paul CBD posted the largest negative absorption of 90,000 SF.
READ ENTIRE REPORT: Q2_19_Mpls-St_Paul_Office_Market_Report
 

MNCAR Industrial Market Trends – Minneapolis-St. Paul (2018-Q4)

INDUSTRIAL MARKET TRENDS | Q4 2018 | Mpls-St. Paul

Economic Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) decreased 50 basis points from 2.5% in November 2018. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was at 3.8% in October 2018, up from 2.8% for the State of Minnesota.  The Mpls-St. Paul MSA saw an increase in industrial growth in manufacturing growing by 6,900 during the same period.
Market Overview
The Mpls-St.Paul industrial market, consisting of 119 msf of space in either counties across the metro posted an availability rate of 11.4% for Q4 2018.  The vacancy rate for the market stands at 8.2% to close out 2018.  The average asking lease low rate was $5.82 and high rate was $9.00 NNN for Mpls-St. Paul.  To date, there are 17 construction projects throughout the market, totaling just over 209 msf.
Market Highlights
At the close of Q4 2018, the market experiences over 1.9 msf of leasing activity and the vacancy rate finished the year at 8.2% in total with the Southeast market posting the lowest rate at 7.0%.  The top five lease transactions accounted for over 490,797 sf throughout Mpls-St. Paul with the largest leased space for Asmodee North America leasing 130,000 sf.  Northeast warehouse distribution increased to 15.7% vacancy from 11.3% due to new deliveries totaling 468,188 sf.
READ ENTIRE REPORT: Q4 2018 – Industrial Market Trends
Written by: MNCAR/Redi Comps

NAIOP Industrial Space Demand Forecast | 3Qtr-2017

Demand for Industrial Space Will Remain Robust

Based on over 40 economic and real estate factors such as employment, GDP, exports and imports, and air, rail and shipping data, the NAIOP Research Foundation forecast suggests that net absorption of industrial space could increase slightly through 2018.   Overall, market consensus seems to be that the latter half of 2017 may benefit from a release of pent-up demand due to the election of Donald Trump.

While stories about the “death of retail” are assuredly overblown — with REIS reporting recent quarters of positive net absorption of retail space and the U.S. Census Bureau posting all-time record highs in retail sales — it is increasingly clear that more physical goods will pass through multiple distribution warehouses before reaching consumers’ hands.

New orders of goods are growing, manufacturing activity still appears to be increasing steadily in the U.S. as of the second quarter 2017 which require more industrial facilities, thus the demand for industrial real estate.

Read more: Qtr3 2017-Industrial Space Demand Forecast
In 2009, the NAIOP Research Foundation awarded a research grant to Anderson and Guirguis to develop a model for forecasting net absorption of industrial space in the United States. That model led to successful forecasting two quarters out. A white paper describing the research and testing behind the model for NAIOP’s Industrial Space Demand Forecast is available at naiop.org/research.
For more info about the NAIOP Research Foundation, contact Bennett Gray at 703-674-1436 or gray@naiop.org.

TCN Worldwide’s State of the Market: Central Edition (2017-Q2) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

National and Macroeconomic Overview

There is no more recurrent question posed in real estate analysis than, “Where are we in the cycle?” The mood amongst economic forecasters can best be described as “benign.” While there is a general consensus that the present expansion is getting long in the tooth, at 96 months and counting, most (correctly) assert that business cycles do not die of old age. For the record, this is already the third longest upcycle since 1850. But it is also the weakest since World War II. The upcycle of the 1990s reached 120 months, but averaged 3.6% annual real GDP growth over that decade. The recovery since the Global Financial Crisis has averaged a bit under 2.1% annually. Given slower labor force growth (even absent a lower participation rate) and decelerating productivity improvements, the baseline growth in the years ahead appears to be in the 1.7% – 1.9% range. Expectations of a return to the growth of the 1990s simply cannot be justified in the numbers.
Some comfort is being taken by the absence of typical signs of economic overheating that often precede recessions. Inflation remains quiescent, with low energy prices driving prices at the gas pump down to near $2.00 per gallon during the peak summer travel season. The Federal Reserve has been gradually raising its benchmark rates, but is being careful to avoid squeezing economic growth in the process. The “Trump Bump” in stock prices has shown staying power on Wall Street, but as the year advances it becomes clearer that the agenda of tax reform, infrastructure spending, Dodd-Frank rollback, and entitlement reduction will not be accomplished in 2017. Hence, there is probably greater fragility in the economy than the consensus acknowledges and risk is present from either domestic disappointments or international disruption.
Read more: Central_2017_Q2_State_of_Market_web
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.

TCN Worldwide State of the Market – Central Edition (2017-Q1) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

Central Region Economic Conditions
Temptation for economists, leading to forecasting out of the rear view mirror. Stresses over the past several years in key industry sectors
in the Central states have meant an unaccustomed slowdown of growth in many key states. But this now appears to be changing as the forces
shaping manufacturing, agriculture, and energy either find their bottoms or begin to accelerate from a period of sluggishness.
The precipitous drop in energy prices, for instance, seems to have run its course. For the past year, crude oil prices have settled into a narrow range close to $50 per barrel. Expectations that economic growth will spur demand is encouraging an increase in rig counts in the Permian Basin and increasing exploration in the Bakken region further north. The multiplier effects of renewed energy industry growth are positive for the Central states as a whole. The year is beginning with fairly positive conditions for the Breadbasket, with strong prices for a variety of agricultural products, including soybeans, cattle, hogs, and winter wheat.
Read more: Central_2017_Q1_State_of_Market_web
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.

TCN Worldwide State of Market – Central Edition (2016-Q3) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

National and Macroeconomic Market Overview
The Bureau of Economic Analysis “final” GDP estimate for the Second Quarter was released on September 29, 2016.   It showed overall economic growth at a 1.4 percent annual rate.  This was the third consecutive subpar quarter, and confirmed that the long expansion (now at 86 months in duration) is slowing its momentum.  The initial Third Quarter estimate will not be out until early November.  Preliminary data indicate continued sluggishness. Retail sales are up just 1.9 percent year over year.  Housing starts, permits, and home prices slipped during the summer.  Industrial production and capacity utilization are also in decline from 2015.
More positively, net real exports have risen for the last several months, and this should be strengthening GDP during the second half. The
auto industry has also been trending upward. Incomes have started to rise, and for the first time in this cycle lower and middle-income households are benefiting materially, according to a Census Bureau study released in September. This is contributing to a small uptick in inflation, with core CPI now up 2.3 percent year over year.
Read more: 2016-central_q3_state_of_market
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.

TCN Worldwide Economic Report – Central Edition (2016-Q2) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

Regional Conditions in the Central States                               
The Central states, with an employment base of 55.6 million, has the largest number of jobs of the three regions analyzed in our newsletters.  However, with an aggregate job growth of just 31,000 spread over nineteen states, the Central region has the lowest number of additional jobs and the slowest growth rate (1.1%). Texas, with a year-over-year job gain of 171,800 (1.5%) is the regional standout in absolute growth, but Tennessee posted a faster pace of job gains, 2.1% (versus the US average of 1.7%) on the addition of 60,900 positions. On the other side of the coin, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Oklahoma saw employment contract in the past twelve months. Unemployment ranged from a low of 2.5% in Tennessee and 3.0% in Nebraska, to highs of 6.3%
in Louisiana and 6.4% in Illinois.
Although far from the oceans, the Central region has an extraordinary role in international trade. Texas has an annual import/export volume of $502 billion, with Michigan ($177 billion) and Illinois ($185 billion) in the top tier trade states as well.  Tennessee and Ohio also engage in more than $100 billion in global trade annually. While lower in volume, four states with agricultural and/or energy concentrations in their economies show surplus trade balances (more exports than imports) in an era where the country as a whole has long been in a deep trade deficit.
Texas, with its enormous total volume, has a very thin trade deficit of just $404 million. Globalization, then, has been a mixed blessing for the region – possibly costing a number of jobs, but generating employment as well in sectors ranging from agriculture and energy to transportation and wholesales, and in manufacturing sectors including precision instruments and transportation
equipment.
  INTERNATIONAL TRADE VOLUMES BY STATE

Healthcare is reported to be a bright spot in the regional economy, as is professional and business services in and around Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas. The energy slump has impacted several parts of the region, and accounts for the bulk ofthe economic contraction in states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. Residential construction is constrained by rising labor costs
and by tightening underwriting standards at bank lenders. Commercial development lending is also being carefully underwritten, limiting new development. This will have the likely effect of lengthening the real estate cycle, which has not seen the volume of construction that is typical in a late-stage business expansion.  Basel III capital requirements, the regulatory impacts of Dodd-Frank oversight, and the “lessons learned” by banks caught with billions of land and development loans in the Global Financial Crisis all contribute to the constrained credit environment.
READ ENTIRE REPORT–TCN Economic Report – 2016_Q2_Central
 
Economist Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is a Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. Kelly specializes in development of economic and market forecasts, portfolio strategy, as well as seminars and workshops. He heads his own consulting practice, Hugh F. Kelly Real Estate Economics, which serves national and international real estate investment and services firms, governmental organizations, law firms, and not-for-profit agencies. Kelly is widely cited in the real estate industry and is well known for his research on 24-hour cities and commercial real estate investment performance.

TCN Worldwide’s Economic Report – Central Edition (2016-Q1) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

Overview of National Economic Trends
The major macro-economic indi­cators. The First Quarter doldrums struck again in 2016. Relatively weak job gains in January (168,000 net new jobs for the month) were a drag on First Quarter totals, with the three-month employment increase at just 628,000. The pattern of the past several years has been economic ac­celeration in the Spring and Summer months. Year-over-year, U.S. employ­ment gains exceeded 2.8 million, or 2.0%. Wages are starting to respond to the low five percent unemployment rate, with average hourly earnings up 2.3% for the year. These are “real” wage gains, as the CPI increase for the 12-months ending March 2016 was just 0.9%.
Although recent in­creases in energy prices suggest some upward inflation to come, the US Energy Information Agency pre­dicts that gasoline prices will aver­age $2.04 per gallon nationally this summer, compared with $2.63 per gallon last year. That could buoy retail spending and vacation travel for con­sumers, which would be a welcome trend for the stores and hotels sector of the economy. The stock market gyrations certainly raised the level of nervousness across the econo­my. The VIX was high and the drop in the equities indexes during the first six weeks of the year was more than 10%. But since that “bottom”, stock prices are up more than 15%. We are entering the Second Quarter with positive momentum.
Read more: TCN Worldwide’s State of the Market | 2016_Q1_Central
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.