Market Snapshot: Positive Outlook for Raleigh-Durham

The Raleigh-Durham area is showing some positive signs this year, across a number of property sectors.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Raleigh-Durham area is showing some positive signs this year, across a number of property sectors.

The growth was helped by the area’s employment trends. During the first half of 2014, Raleigh-Durham companies created 14,400 jobs, a 1.8 percent year-over-year increase. Supported by the growth of technology firms, the 2014 mid-year employment rate outpaced the 1.6 percent increase of the previous year.

Government employment led the metropolitan area, with 3,900 new positions created since March 2013, followed by the professional and business services industry, with 3,300 additions. One of the most notable employers was HCL Technologies, a company that created 200 new call-center jobs within that period and plans to add more than 1,200 jobs in Cary by 2018. In addition, software company Red Hat Inc. announced it would hire at least 600 employees, while MetLife plans to employ 1,200 workers at its new technology hub, currently under construction in Cary.

The Raleigh-Durham annual median household income reached $59,030 in the first quarter of 2014, a 4.4 percent increase year over year, following a 3.3 percent rise in the previous year.

Multi-family Inventory Outpaces Demand Amid Rising Rents, Employment Growth

Vacancy and Rent - Multi-Family Raleigh-Durham - Hendricks-Berkadia
Vacancy and Rent – Multi-Family Raleigh-Durham – Hendricks-Berkadia

Apartment inventory in the Raleigh-Durham area expanded by 1,020 units during the first quarter, the recent for which data is available, a slight decrease from the last quarter of 2013, when 1,340 units were delivered. According to research data from Hendricks-Berkadia, the Hillsborough submarket saw the greatest number of additions, with 250 new units.

Marketwide, the completions surpassed the area’s demand for rental units, pushing up vacancy 30 basis points to 5.6 percent. The average asking rent reached $891 per month in March, increasing by 1.8 percent year over year and by 0.6 percent since the end of last year.

Meanwhile, multi-family permitting activity had risen 15 percent from the beginning of the year. Developers submitted permits for 7,540 annualized units, which accounts for a 2 percent drop from the same period in 2013.

Multi-Family Vacancy and Rent Comparison - Raleigh-Durham - Hendricks-Berkadia
Multi-Family Vacancy and Rent Comparison – Raleigh-Durham – Hendricks-Berkadia

The median price for single-family homes in the Raleigh-Cary area has also been rising, reaching $205,350 in March, a 12 percent increase year over year, while the median home price advanced 8 percent to $199,000 in Durham-Chapel Hill.

Charts courtesy: Hendricks-Berkadia



Net Absorption Continues Upward Trend in Triangle Office Market as Demand Outpaces Supply

Triangle Office Market - Net Absorption - Avison Young
Triangle Office Market – Net Absorption – Avison Young

The Triangle office market continued to grow strong during the second quarter of 2014, according to research data from Avison Young.

Absorption of office space increased by more than 380,000 square feet, while overall vacancy fell 20 basis points to 12.9 percent. Tenants absorbed more than 1 million square feet of office space year over year.

The Raleigh-Durham economy is on the upswing as technology companies continue to grow, generating intense construction activity in the area. The Raleigh-Durham office market climbed from a mere 290,000 square feet of space underway in mid-2013 to approximately 1.5 million square feet in the pipeline by the second half of 2014. More than 75 percent of this year’s additions have been pre-leased at the time of construction.

The I-40/RTP submarket continued to experience the strongest activity, with a positive net absorption of approximately 230,000 square feet. The completion of the 206,000-square-foot Perimeter Two office building accounted for most of the absorption; by the time it was delivered, the project was 97 percent pre-leased. Compliance Implementation Services, Fujifilm, Medical Systems, Maxpoint Interactive and SciQuest are among the property’s tenants.

Office Vacancy in the Triangle - Avison Young
Office Vacancy in the Triangle – Avison Young

The West Raleigh submarket also experienced a significant absorption of office space, with the relocation of LexisNexis into 120,000 square feet of space at 1901 Varsity Drive. The property had been vacant since Red Hat’s move to downtown Raleigh.

Demand for office space is expected to continue to grow through the remainder of the year.

Lease rates are also estimated to maintain a positive trend through the end of 2014. During the first half of the year, average Class A asking rates for office space in the Triangle increased by 3 percent. This growth is likely to continue as demand outpaces supply, and is expected to deepen in 2015, when new deliveries will be offered at a higher price point.

Charts courtesy: Avison Young


Outlook Remains Positive for Raleigh-Durham’s Industrial Sector; Sales Activity to Hit Record High in 2014

Raleigh-Durham - Industrial Vacancy - Cushman & Wakefield
Raleigh-Durham – Industrial Vacancy – Cushman & Wakefield

The Raleigh-Durham industrial market continued to remain tight during this year’s second quarter, according to the most recent data available from Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

The market’s overall net absorption of warehouse space over the second quarter was 217,790 square feet, while leasing activity reached 363,406 square feet. During the same period, asking rents have grown by 2 percent year-over-year across all warehouse classes.

Raleigh-Durham - Industrial Leasing - Cushman & Wakefield
Raleigh-Durham – Industrial Leasing – Cushman & Wakefield

Class A inventory posted 98,517 square feet of positive absorption, pushing down vacancy to 8.7 percent. Rental rates within the same class have reached $4.57 per square foot, increasing by 4.8 percent since the second quarter of 2013. With a total net absorption of 235,007 square feet, the region’s largest institutional submarket, RTP/I-40, reached a vacancy rate of 4.7 percent during second quarter 2014, the lowest since the first quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, RTP’s overall rental rates saw a year-over-year increase of 7.3 percent.

Sales activity in the Raleigh-Durham industrial market during the first half of 2014 was exceptionally strong. More than 3.2 million square feet was traded since the first half of 2013, totaling more than $175 million in transaction volume (22 deals), but record-breaking deals are expected to close toward the end of the year, when transaction volume typically picks up.

The region’s industrial market is expected to see a strong overall performance this year, and attract new construction projects in the foreseeable future.

Charts courtesy: Cushman & Wakefield Inc.