The unemployment rate for the Tucson metro area as of May 31st was 5.8%, 60 basis points (bps) lower than year end and 50 bps below the national rate. Decreased government spending impacted both Tucson’s market momentum and activity. Home prices and inventory flattened in the second quarter, while the inventory of Tucson residential listings increased.
PICOR Connect | Trends in Commercial Real Estate
Topics: Tucson, Industrial, Commercial real estate, Economic development, Investment property, Absorption, Market trends, Vacancy, Lease rates, Leasing, Office, Medical office, Apartments, Multifamily
If our firm’s revenue and activity are indicative of the market, Tucson office market momentum has clearly increased, with annualized lease and sale transactions up 44.7% over 2013. Our team was busy helping clients position themselves to best avail themselves of opportunities, with regard to pricing and availability whether for lease or investment. With continued tepidness in job growth, creativity and resourcefulness ruled the day.
The purpose of this report is to show the strengths and weaknesses of Tucson, Arizona and its sister cities, Albuquerque, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. The three cities are sisters since they have many commonalities including climate, population size, and each city having a military base and a university. The stats and data shown herein are used to illustrate the bigger picture and may not reflect exact figures.
Tucson is about 60 miles north of the US-Mexico border and about 100 miles south of Phoenix, Arizona. The metropolitan population is about 1 million but the 2010 US Census Bureau reports a population of 520,000. Major industries in Tucson include Defense/Aerospace, Healthcare, and mining. Tucson does not have any major sporting teams beyond those associated with the University of Arizona. The current real estate trends include the build-up of downtown with new office buildings, street-car, student housing, restaurants, and retailers.
The major difference between Tucson and its sister cities is that it is in the shadow of a much larger city. The Phoenix metropolitan area is about 4 million people and has sports venues, a legitimate international airport, corporate industries, loop freeways, and a light rail line.
The Arizona México Commission held its semi-annual forum last week in Scottsdale with the theme "Are You Ready for International Business?" Because Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR has a decade-long commitment to cross-border commercial real estate, we thought it timely to share an update on the Sonora, Mexico commercial real estate environment and efforts promoting the Arizona-Sonora Region.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, national defense is an integral and critical component of Tucson's economy. Recent research and a campaign to support and preserve our military presence has emerged as "Mission Strong." Here are some excerpts from the Mission Strong website:
In his recent appeal to the Tucson Metro Chamber audience and in forums at Tucson CREW and CCIM, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild rallied the business community around the region’s stated Five Ts or five strengths: Technology, Trade, Transportation, Tourism and Teaching.
Arizona job growth outpaced the national rate as the state continued to recover. Statewide improvement in job gains will have a positive effect on all Arizona markets. According to Forbes magazine and Moody’s Analytics, Arizona ranks No. 1 nationally for projected job growth over the next five years, forecasted to increase 3.0% with an annual economic growth of 4.6%. The housing recovery statewide positively impacted construction jobs in both Phoenix and Tucson, with the volume of building permits strengthening. Conventional lending is recovering, and inventory remained below the balance point at 3.5 months, while finished lot supply is scarce.
Arizona job growth outpaced the national rate as the state continued to recover. Statewide improvement in job gains was primarily found in the Phoenix metropolitan area, with only 1,300 new jobs in the Tucson region since July 2012. According to Forbes magazine and Moody’s Analytics, Arizona ranks No. 1 nationally for projected job growth over the next five years, forecasted to increase 3.0% with an annual economic growth of 4.6%. The housing recovery statewide positively impacted construction jobs in both Phoenix and Tucson, but permits remained low, relative to historic norms. Conventional lending is recovering and inventory remained below the balance point at 3.5 months while finished lot supply is scarce.
Arizona job growth outpaced the nation since hitting bottom in fall 2010, but is still digging out of the significant hole left by job losses during the downturn. Much of the growth focused on Phoenix while Tucson’s progress was less robust. Local unemployment rates continued to improve ending May at 6.3%, a full percentage-point improvement since January 2013. Retail sales in the metro area increased 2.1% year over year and May home sales rose with median prices up 12.0% and closings up 11.0%, both over May 2012.
The TAR Scorecard gathers data from different sources to present a broader, comprehensive view of the overall real estate-housing and development market. The objective is to identify emerging trends in various subsectors. Viewed separately, these subsectors may not appear to be interrelated. But over time, the data ultimately converges to affect the performance of the entire market.