The U.S. outdoor shopping center market recorded -7.7 million square feet (msf) of net absorption in Q2 2020, bringing the mid-year total to -12.2 msf. Although this reflects the largest giveback of space since 2009, the impact on vacancy and rents has thus far been moderate. Overall vacancy climbed 20 basis points in the quarter to 6.8% with overall asking rents for all classes of space unchanged from the prior quarter at $17.58 per square foot.
With the continued support of tailwinds like eCommerce, the market managed to keep solid footing through the first half of 2020. The U.S. industrial market finished the first half of 2020 at a moderately strong pace, absorbing 43.9 million square feet (msf) in the second quarter bringing the mid-year total to 89.8 msf of absorption. Net occupancy growth in the first half of the year is down year-over-year but absorption levels remained positive and will remain so heading into the second half of 2020. Despite the slow start to the year and increased concern around COVID-19 impacts, demand for industrial space won out.
Given the severe blow to the labor markets, it is not surprising that the office leasing environment was also impacted this quarter. Net absorption dropped from +5.2 million square feet (msf) in the first quarter to -22.8 msf in the second quarter. This was the largest quarterly decline in net demand for office space since the second quarter of 2009 during the Great Recession.
INVESTMENT OVERVIEW: Halt on Investments & Acceleration of Trends
The majority of commercial real estate transactions were placed on hold in the beginning of Q2 due to the uncertain affects of COVID-19. Overall actual cap rates, excluding multi-family properties & national credit NNN deals, have averaged around 7% for investment properties in the Boise MSA. First quarter sales consisted primarily of office space, largely due to the Hoff Building sale in Downtown Boise. Many of the new properties added to market inventory consists of multi-family projects, which has helped fill demand from the substantial population growth in the Treasure Valley.
2020 will be a year to remember in every way and commercial real estate is no exception. When the official shutdown occurred in Idaho, retail saw a slight pause on some transactions which made a strong revival in April. Since then we have seen no shortage of visitors to Idaho who are no doubt scouting out the area for a permanent relocation. In mid-May, Boise was named as a top 10 Cities best positioned to recover from Coronavirus.
Office tenants reacted to the pandemic and the new work from home necessity in many different ways and the theories of the future of office space have been plentiful and varied. In our market, we certainly saw some leasing deals that were in progress get put on hold. In addition, we experienced tenants who were up for renewal to push for shorter renewal periods, sometimes as little as one year.
Quarter 1 of 2020 got off to a very strong start in the office market, until the COVID crisis hit the world mid-March. Before COVID, we signed numerous leases through-out the valley ranging in all sizes with continued strong activity of tenants over 15,000 SF. The majority of the leasing has been at Eagle and Overland and 10-Mile. Downtown also had very good activity in Q1 – 2020.
While experienced commercial real estate professionals have been expecting an economic correction in Idaho for some time, nobody could have predicted a pandemic to finally affect our economic growth. Idaho is fortunate in that it had very strong fundamentals before the impacts of the pandemic were felt and experts predict a quick rebound once businesses are allowed to reopen.
Cushman & Wakefield MarketBeat reports analyze quarterly commercial real estate activity, including supply, demand and pricing trends.
Access first quarter 2020 commercial real estate results for the office, industrial and retail sectors