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San Diego Commercial Real Estate In-depth
Commercial real estate in San Diego is spread over numerous smaller cities and suburban office, industrial, and R&D parks and submarkets from downtown San Diego north to Oceanside. Within the second largest city of California, University Town Center and the Scripps Ranch, two large suburban office and R&D submarkets in San Diego, re...
San Diego Commercial Real Estate In-depth
Commercial real estate in San Diego is spread over numerous smaller cities and suburban office, industrial, and R&D parks and submarkets from downtown San Diego north to Oceanside. Within the second largest city of California, University Town Center and the Scripps Ranch, two large suburban office and R&D submarkets in San Diego, remain relatively strong compared to other suburban office markets across the United States. San Diego has over 100 such submarkets spread over hundreds of miles from the border of Mexico up to Orange Country to the north that remain healthy compared to most areas of the US. However, conditions for commercial real estate in San Diego, the ninth largest city in the US, remains weak due to the national economy and worldwide recession.
San Diego County area has seen explosive growth with almost 10 million square feet of office space added to the area’s building base from 2006 – 2009. Currently there is no new construction for R&D buildings in San Diego County largely in part to demand, scare land opportunities, and a lack of financing available. The record year for new commercial real estate development in San Diego for office space was 2001 when nearly 4 million square feet was developed. With nearly 2,200 office buildings alone, the San Diego commercial real estate base is incredibly vast and is still growing with almost 1 million square feet of office space under construction in mid 2009.
Just like every major metropolitan area in the US, nearly one-fifth of the area’s roughly 96 million square feet of office space being offered for sale or lease. Average full service office rents across the county is $2.47/month falling by about $.25/month from mid 2008 to mid 2009. The North City market remains relatively strong with asking rents still near $2.75 per square foot, per month. Unoccupied R&D space is hovering around 15% whereas all R&D space being marketed is at about 23% against a backdrop of 1,200 or so buildings and 40 million square feet of R&D buildings in San Diego County. This is a dramatic increased compared to 2008 where there was just 16% of the San Diego County’s R&D building base was available.
The industrial sector of San Diego’s commercial real estate, far and away the largest commercial real estate sector for the county, is fairing much better than its office and R&D counterparts with just over 10% available. This is a great stabilizing factor for the commercial real estate market in San Diego given that there are nearly 4,100 industrial buildings in existence over approximately 150 million square feet. With very little industrial building construction occurring in 2009, the industrial market is still a tenant’s market due to the national economy but is not so far out of equilibrium as the area’s other commercial real estate sectors.
The three largest economies of San Diego are military expenditures, manufacturing, and tourism. San Diego births and supports the largest naval fleet including super-carriers The Ronald Reagan, and The Nimitz. he unemployment rate in San Diego County was 9.4% in May 2009, up from a revised 9.2% in April 2009, and above the year ago estimate of 5.4%. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 11.2% for California and 9.1% for the nation during the same period. According to the State of California Employment Development Department, San Diego County lost 52,200 payroll jobs over the last twelve months – 11,500 in retail trade, transportation and utilities services and 11,100 in construction. However, between April 2009 and May 2009 San Diego County only lost 2,800 jobs.
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