Commercial Real Estate Market Holds Steady, Improves: Fed
In its most current analysis, the Federal Reserve Board said commercial real estate market conditions have held steady or improved in nearly all 12 of its districts in recent weeks.
According to the Fed’s Beige Book released Wednesday, on the residential side, all of the districts cited increases in home sales, home prices or housing construction. Reports on commercial real estate markets were also generally positive, the report showed.
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Va., San Francisco and St. Louis make up the Fed’s12 districts.
New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Kansas City all reported that commercial leasing increased and vacancy rates fell.
Chicago's report was mixed: office vacancy rates remained high, restraining demand for new office construction, but office leasing demand improved modestly and industrial construction picked up.
Atlanta reported rising apartment rents and small gains in office leasing with weakness in the retail and industrial sectors.
Boston reported that office fundamentals were flat on average, with rising rents in portions of Boston proper and muted but steady activity elsewhere in the district. Both Cleveland and Boston said nonresidential construction had picked up while office and industrial real estate markets remained healthy in Dallas.
The St. Louis report noted an increase in commercial construction across much of the district and varied reports on leasing across areas within the district.
In San Francisco, demand for commercial property was stable while commercial construction was limited.
Richmond reported a decline in office leasing volume in Washington, D.C., but some portions of the district recorded increasing sales and construction.
Meanwhile, based on data collected on or before Aug. 20, the Beige Book noted that overall, banks in the districts said credit conditions had improved with credit spreads decreasing and competition for high-quality borrowers among lending institutions on the rise.
The New York district noted that shrinking spreads were observed particularly in commercial and industrial loans as well as in commercial mortgages. Some bankers in the Cleveland district mentioned a moderate loosening of lending guidelines. The New York, St. Louis, and Kansas City districts reported unchanged credit standards while New York and Cleveland cited declining delinquency rates.
The Richmond and Atlanta districts reported generally low demand for loans, but some pockets of growth. The Chicago district noted that growth in business loan demand was generated mostly from small and mid-size firms and for the purpose of refinancing rather than financing capital expenditures.
Cleveland, St. Louis and San Francisco mentioned small positive or negative changes in business credit demand, and relatively strong demand for consumer credit. The Kansas City district reported stable demand for commercial and industrial loans and commercial real estate loans. Dallas noted softer demand for loans overall.