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Commercial Real Estate Trends and Statistics

September 29, 2020

by Kelsey McKeon

Senior Content Writer

Want to learn about the latest trends in office space? Read our curated list of commercial real estate statistics.

Commercial real estate is a dynamic industry that's been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We curated this list of 33 commercial real estate trends to provide an accurate look at the state of the industry.

COVID-19 Commercial Real Estate Trends

  • On average, commercial real estate sales volume fell by 1% during Q1 2020. (NAR)
  • 39% of U.S. workers have returned to their company’s private office space or a shared coworking space. (Clutch)

39% of U.S. workers have returned to their office spaces

  • 82% of U.S. workers agree employers should use additional measures to make offices safe as employees return during the pandemic. (Clutch)
  • In October 2019, 42% of commercial real estate owners and operators believed their technology investments would increase somewhat in the event of an economic downturn. (Deloitte)
  • 91% of businesses are already acting to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their offices. (Clutch)
  • 73% of NAR-registered realtors saw an increase in co-working and alternating or staggered job schedules in July 2020. (NAR)
  • In October 2019, 76% of commercial real estate owners and operators were optimistic about the performance of the commercial real estate industry over the next 18 months. (Deloitte)
  • 36% of commercial real estate leaders believed financing or interest rate risk were the biggest challenges to the commercial real estate industry in late 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Deloitte)
  • 61% of employees in the U.S. continue to work remotely. Among these remote workers, preferences for returning to the office vary: 19% of current remote workers wish to go back to an office as soon as possible; 15% want to return after September 2020; 13% prefer to wait until 2021, and 15% don’t want to return at all. (Clutch)

When Do Employees Want to Return to the Office?

  • More than half of U.S. workers (55%) feel safe working from an office as soon as September 2020. About one-third (32%) feel unsafe. (Clutch)
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in U.S. commercial real estate is expected to decrease between 5% and 10% from 2019 investments. (CBRE)

Leasing and Vacancy Statistics

  • Commercial leasing volume fell 4% in the second quarter of 2020. (NAR)
  • In 2019, CBRE projected the tech industry to comprise more than 20% of commercial leasing activity. (CBRE)
  • NAR-registered realtors reported a 25% commercial real estate vacancy rate in Q2 of 2020. (NAR)
  • Hotel real estate vacancy rose to 75% in the second quarter of 2020. (NAR)
  • The office vacancy rate in the U.S. was at 11.5% in Q1 2020. (Colliers)
  • 66% of U.S. office markets have vacancy rates below the national average. (Colliers)
  • The volume of new leases for commercial real estate properties declined 1.5% in Q1 2020. (NAR)

Construction Trends

  • Construction on commercial real estate properties declined 5% in 2020 Q2. (NAR)
  • 84% of NAR-affiliated realtors reported they expect construction projects to be delayed in 2020. (NAR)
  • The supply of available office space will outpace demand by 20 million to 30 million square feet in 2019. (CBRE)
  • According to 2019 forecasts, commercial rent costs were expected to grow 5% in 2020, which is on par with previous years. (CBRE)

Offices and Office Space Trends

  • Flexible office space will make up 2.1% of the commercial real estate market share in 2020. (CBRE)
  • The most popular office layout is a mixed floor plan or a combination of private workspaces with communal work areas. 42% of office spaces have this type of mixed floor plan. (Clutch)
  • One in five U.S. workers has a private office space. (Clutch)

Retail Space Trends

  • Commercial leases in shopping malls were down between 7% and 10% in July 2020. (NAR)
  • Retail vacancy increased by 20% in the second quarter of 2020. (NAR)
  • Atlanta is the top market for retail rent growth. The area saw an approximately 4% increase in rent growth in 2019. (CBRE)
  • At peak store closure in 2020, 263,250 stores were closed in the U.S. (This is about 62% of all stores.) (Colliers)
  • U.S. retail has seen a 6% decline in growth in 2020 compared to positive growth of 3.5% in 2019. (Colliers)
  • U.S. retail has seen nearly 15.8 million square feet of vacant space absorbed since Q1 2020. (Colliers)

Commercial Real Estate Technology Trends

  • In October 2019, 59% of CRE executives said they don’t currently use augmented reality (AR) technology, but plan to in the future. (Deloitte)
  • The primary markets for data centers in the U.S. -- Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, New York Tri-State, Northern Virginia, Phoenix and Silicon Valley -- accounted for more than 56% of the tenant demand in 2018. (CBRE)

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