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FOMC Keeps Interest Rates at 23-Year High As Latest CPI Remains Above Target

Among other latest economic updates:

  • Gross domestic product rose by 1.6% in Q1 2024, which fell short of economists’ expectations;
  • Consumer sentiment moved slightly downward in April 2024;
  • CPI, All Items, rose 3.5 percent over the previous 12 months, led by fuel and housing costs;
  • The number of office-using job openings dropped in March by 6.1% from the previous month.

Free Rent Periods for Renewals Are Up Significantly from 2019 to the Last Four Quarters Across Major Markets

According to a recent Bisnow article, “Office Lease Expirations Are Lining Up, With Tenants In Driver’s Seat,” renewing tenants have more negotiating power than ever. This is crucial because there is a slew of office lease expirations on the horizon. According to CompStak’s data, the share of free rent as a portion of the lease term has increased by 210 basis points since 2019 across major markets for transactions of 5,000 square feet or larger. In New York City, renewals of 100,000 square feet or larger have, on average, received 7.8% of their term in free rent over the last four quarters.

Rexford Industrial Realty Gains SoCal Market Share with $1 Billion Portfolio Acquisition from Blackstone

Rexford Industrial Realty expanded its Southern California industrial footprint with the acquisition of a 48-property, 3 million-square-foot portfolio in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, per a company press release. This buy brings Rexford’s SoCal portfolio close to 49 million square feet, just shy of Blackstone’s reported 50 million square feet in the same market. The portfolio traded at a reported $332 per square foot, which outpaced the average price per square foot for properties sold between Q4 2023 to Q1 2024 by 4.6%, according to CompStak’s data. Prologis, followed by Rexford and Norges Bank Investment Management rank highest for total current leased industrial square footage in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, according to CompStak’s data.

Amazon, Google and Microsoft Ranked High for Office Contraction Nationwide Over Past Year

According to a WSJ article, “Big Tech is Downsizing Workspace in Another Blow to Office Real Estate,” the nation’s largest technology companies like Amazon and Meta are letting leases expire or shedding space. From Q2 2023 through Q1 2024, Amazon, Google and Microsoft all ranked high in CompStak’s data for the most negative net change in office footprint nationwide, when accounting for any leases signed vs. leases expired. The largest leases that expired over this period were in the Bay Area (Amazon and Google) and Seattle (Microsoft). Nationwide, the average size of technology leases expiring over the next two years outpaces the average size of all other industries’ lease expirations by 60.5%.

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