WCRE Q2 report: Solid fundamentals, steady gains in South Jersey

Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE said it analyzed the second quarter of 2019 and found that in South Jersey, the office market has continued to show modest gains and overall solid fundamentals.

The report found sales volume and prospecting activity were on the rise when compared to the first quarter, while leasing dropped for the overall region, but was up in Camden County and Cherry Hill. Gross leasing absorption was low, but still positive, CBRE said.

“For several years in a row we have seen mostly slow, steady growth supported by strong fundamentals,” Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE, said. “Commercial real estate has performed very reliably, and although leasing volumes were down this quarter, there is a pipeline of approximately 450,000 square feet of pending deals expected to close in the near term.”

In the three counties surveyed — Burlington, Camden and Gloucester — there was 286,707 square feet of new leases and renewals, a decrease of 23% over Q1. The sales market remained active, with 1.18 million square feet on the market or under agreement and 738,714 square feet being traded.

New leasing activity accounted for about 75% of all deals in the three counties. Overall, gross leasing absorption in the second quarter was around 150,000 square feet, compared to 411,000 square feet in the first quarter.

Other office market highlights:

  • Overall vacancy in the market is now 11.4%, which is 20 basis points better than the previous quarter;
  • Vacancy in Camden County ticked up slightly to 11.3% in Q2, compared to 11.1% in Q1;
  • Burlington County’s vacancy dropped to 11.5%, improving 60 basis points;

Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Retail vacancy in Camden County dropped to 5.7%, with average rents around $16.32 per-square-foot.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County dropped to 7.4%, with average rents around $12.75 per-square-foot.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County dropped to 7.9%, with average rents around $15.95 per-square-foot.