South Jersey real estate saw weak end to strong year

South Jersey’s commercial real estate market, like those in other parts of the state, posted a strong 2017 year despite a weak fourth quarter, according to Marlton-based brokerage firm Wolf Commercial Real Estate.

WCRE said in its quarterly analysis that new leases and renewals amounted to about 210,525 square feet in the Burlington-Camden-Gloucester area in Q4, about half the previous quarter’s total. The sales market remained active, however, with more than 1.88 million square feet on the market or under contract, and another 205,364 square feet actually changing hands.

“Aside from an expected leasing slowdown in the fourth quarter, 2017 was a strong year for our market,” Jason Wolf, WCRE founder and managing principal, said in a prepared statement. “All the elements for success are in place, including a labor market that is heating up, record gains in the financial markets and continued deal and prospecting activity and enthusiasm.”

The firm said new leasing activity accounted for just over a quarter of all deals, while net absorption for the quarter finished at around 65,250 square feet.

Office vacancy in the market stands at 10.1 percent, up a third of a point from Q3. Average rents for Class A and B product remained in the range they had been throughout the year, coming in at $10 to $14.50 per square foot net or $20 to $24.50 per square foot gross.

Retail vacancy stood at 9.9 percent in Burlington County, 8.5 percent in Camden County and 7.2 percent in Gloucester County.