December employment gains boost CRE demand as firms expand
Jobs growth in 2011 increased full-time office employment by 327,000 jobs, giving the commercial real estate segment a slight boost, according to a new report from Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Services. The research firm said the increase in jobs allowed companies to fill empty cubicles, producing a modest gain in demand for new office space. The real estate data firm said rising employment in December capped off the first year of solid job growth since 2005. Apartments also benefited from improved employment numbers with new rentals increasing and the national apartment vacancy rate falling 120-basis points in 2011 to 5.4%. Marcus & Millichap said the 20- to 34-year-old-age group prefers renting to homeownership. With this group experiencing more hiring in the past 12 months, the research firm expects to see a continued rise in apartment demand and another 40-basis-point decline in the apartment vacancy rate this year. Write to Kerri Panchuk.