From an economic standpoint, Metro Tucson ended November with a total of 372,000 non-farm jobs, gaining 5,200 jobs year-over-year (YOY), an annualized job growth rate of 1.4%. Growth in home prices began to flatten, with a 4.6% gain in median selling price in 2014. HomeGoods, a division of TJX Companies, announced interest in opening a western distribution center in Tucson, a proposed 800,000-square-foot (sf) facility with an estimated economic impact of nearly $900 million. HomeGoods received Pima County approval and awaits a tax incentive decision from the City in February. The real estate is being brokered in part by Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR.
PICOR Connect | Trends in Commercial Real Estate
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With an improving national economic and employment picture lifting all boats, the unemployment rate for Arizona and the Tucson metro area followed suit. Home sales inventory continued to stabilize and median sale prices gained 6.2% over prior year. Shared Services Center’s expansion announcement netting 200 new jobs made a further positive statement about Tucson as a location to service western states.
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.
Topics: Tucson, Commercial real estate, Office, Industrial, Investment property, Leasing, Absorption, Market trends, Economic development, Apartments, Multifamily, Vacancy, Lease rates, Medical office
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.
Thanks to healthcare demand, the Tucson office market has a heartbeat. By increasing the number of insured citizens, coupled with a growing aging population, the Affordable Care Act is anticipated to be a key demand driver for Tucson medical space. The activity level of behavioral health tenants in the Tucson office market has particularly blossomed. Overall, post-recession job recovery locally has lagged the nation and state as a whole, leaving job creation the most pressing demand driver.
With Tucson and state-wide post-recession job recovery lagging the nation, the local office market continued to rely on silver linings. Residential sales volume and median prices ended the year higher (14.0% and 7.1%, respectively), as positive recovery continued in the housing market.
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Arizona job growth is outpacing the national rate, as the state recovers. Improvement in job gains is dominant in the Phoenix metropolitan area, with only 1,300 net new jobs in the Tucson region since July 2012. The housing recovery statewide has positively impacted construction jobs in both Phoenix and Tucson, but permits remain low, relative to historic norms.
As with the national scene, quarter after quarter, we have cited the need for jobs to fuel a Tucson office market rebound. The State of Arizona reported significant job gains for the local market in February, with Tucson's unemployment improving to 6.7% from 7.3% in January. In the past year, 3,500 more jobs were added, largely in the education, leisure/hospitality and construction sectors.