Renewals helped N.J. office market in Q1, CBRE says

Lease renewals helped prop up a weak New Jersey commercial real estate market in the first quarter of 2018, according to a report from CBRE.

The report, released this week, found that leasing activity fell from the fourth quarter of 2017 quarter-over-quarter, to 1.29 million square feet, from 1.45 million square feet. The Q1 figure was also significantly lower than the year-earlier mark of 2.28 million square feet, CBRE said.

“Despite lackluster overall leasing activity during the first quarter of the year, the New Jersey office market did present a number of positive aspects that are providing optimism for the remainder of the year, including several large renewals,” Ed DaCosta, an executive vice president with CBRE, said in a prepared statement. “Another real cause for optimism on the leasing front is in the form of several large deals that we are monitoring and which are on track to close in the second and third quarters of 2018.”

Net absorption was up more than 730,000 square feet from Q4 of 2017. However, the gains were not equitable, CBRE pointed out — Central Jersey registered more than 534,000 square feet of net absorption, but North Jersey posted a negative number at -261,000 square feet, due in part to several large, unleased buildings coming online.

Average asking rents were also fairly flat, coming in at an increase of just 16 cents per square foot in Q1. The $26.24 per square foot figure was up 50 cents year-over-year, though.

To view CBRE’s reports, click here.