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Commercial Property Values Update

Moodybs/REAL Commercial Property Price Index showed a 0.6 percent increase in commercial property prices in November compared to October, according to Bussinessweek. This is up nearly 3 percent from the previous year and a 6.4 percent increase since Augustbs extreme low. Overall, the U.S. gained around 1.1 million jobs last year, helping the nationbs commercial real estate office market. From Businessweek:

“‘The choppiness seen in the index returns over the past 12 months reflects the overall uncertainty in the breadth and staying power of the macroeconomic recovery in the United States and Europe,'” Moodybs said. “‘The overhang of distressed properties, the sale of which has comprised about one quarter of the transactions used to calculate the index for most of 2010, has also served to apply downward pressure on the index.'”

CoStar Group, which looks at transactions less than $2.5 million, revealed a completely different number, showing prices dropped 4.1 percent in November, according to the article. And Green Street Advisors, which, unlike Moody’s, also looks at uncompleted transactions being negotiated or under contract, showed a 1 percent increase in property values in December.

You can learn more about commercial property values here. To follow all of our updates on commercial real estate trends and the changing workplace, find Morris Southeast Group on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @KenMorrisBroker.

Image: Ole Ronberg via Flickr

Unemployment Claims Fall

Nationally, new applications for unemployment benefits were falling this month, indicating company lay-offs are beginning to fall as well, according to

Business-Related Technology at CES

Lately it seems like new technology is constantly changing the way business is done. Although earlier this month the 2011 International Consumer Electronic Show featured tons of technology aimed at—you guessed it—consumers, a few business technology innovations surfaced as well. SmallBusinessComputing.com reported on some of the small business technology they noticed at the show. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Tablets, tablets and more tablets. These were huge for consumers and businesses, with offerings from Motorola, Research in Motion and Lenovo, to name a few.
  • Dell featured a bmini tower desktop specifically designed for small businesses.b
  • Lexar Media showed off a flash drive with new security software and a bFile Shredderb option.
  • And smartphones are only getting smarter.

You can read all the details about the small business technology at CES here. To follow all of our updates on the changing workplace, technology and innovations, find Morris Southeast Group on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @KenMorrisBroker.

Image via smallbusinesscomputing.com

Robots Marketed for Businesses

As a corporate real estate company, webre always interested in workplace changes, trends and innovations. Needless to say, bThe Robot in the Next Cubicleb headline from Businessweek caught our eyes. Creating a new challenge for unemployed Americans, worker robots are hitting the business market as they can complete tasks like mail delivery and coffee runs without succumbing to distractions like many human workers do.

Multiple worker robots have been developed with a range of skill levels, from coffee fetching to bremedial problem solving.b So will these robots soon replace the need for human workers, especially in terms of secretarial tasks? Maybe, but maybe not. It could create a whole new industry of jobs for robot maintenance, Smart Robots’ chief executive officer points out.

You can learn more about robotic workers and their place in the office here. And then let us know what you think. Are you excited about the possibilities for businesses this technology presents, or are you concerned about robots taking over human jobs?

Image: AFP via news.com.au

2010 CRE Transactions Showed Huge Increase

Preliminary numbers from Real Capital Analytics reveal that commercial real estate transactions in 2010 grew 109 percent from the previous year and totaled $115 billion, according to National Real Estate Investor. The sales volume was especially high in December 2010, with its $21 billion doubling Novemberbs volume and tallying the highest trading volume for one month in about three years. Last yearbs fourth-quarter investment sales reached about $46 billion, an amount close to the recovery sales in 2004.

Sales in secondary markets are still expected to grow in 2011, as investors tire of competing for and driving prices up on bcore assets in primary markets.b As NREI reports,

bAs transaction volume increases in secondary markets in 2011, competition will begin to compress capitalization rates in those metros, according to [managing director of Real Capital Analytics Dan] Fasulo. And as investors show their willingness to buy assets in smaller markets, look for lenders to step up lending in those secondary and tertiary cities as well.b

With an array of investors looking to buy commercial real estate in 2011—REITs, pension funds, foreign and private investors and corporations—sales volume is predicted to continue its surge this year.

Hiring to Increase in 2011

As webve mentioned on the blog before, the bleak unemployment situation is one factor in slowing down the nationbs—and commercial real estatebs—recovery. So we were happy to see CareerBuilderbs annual job forecast show that more hiring managers and HR professionals in a variety of fields plan to bring more employees onboard in 2011. From the press release:

“More than half of employers reported they are in a better financial position today than they were one year ago,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “2011 will usher in a healthier employment picture as business leaders grow more confident in the economy. Our survey indicates more jobs will be added in 2011 than 2010, but job creation will remain gradual. The year will be characterized by steady, measured gains across various industries.”

You can find more detailed statistics on full-time, part-time and contract hiring here, as well as statistics broken down by region, industry and company size.

Greater employment is good news for corporate real estate, as it will contribute to a recovery. To follow all of our updates on CRE and workplace trends, subscribe to the blog by entering your email address in the box on the right-hand side of the page.

Image: kootenays.cmha.bc.ca

CRE Sales Volume Continues to Improve

Since our last update on office property sales increasing, CoStar Group has reported that the volume of commercial real estate sales deals is well on its way to a more bnormal level.b CoStar has yet to finalize its fourth-quarter tally, but already shows $36 billion in deals in the last quarter of 2010—up from $22 billion in the first quarter. From CoStar:

bThe current transaction pace is very similar to that of the second half of 2002, with nearly identical third quarter volumes and likely comparable fourth quarter trading levels as well, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. The activity in both time frames is representative of more normalized, sustainable levels – much lower than the unprecedented lofty levels of the 2005 to 2007 boom, and much greater than the sales drought in 2009.b

And letbs not forget, deals in this new year likely will be more middle-of-the-road than those in 2010, which stuck to extreme ends of the spectrum: well-leased safe options and very distressed ones.

To follow all of our updates on the commercial real estate industry and current workplace trends, find Morris Southeast Group on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @KenMorrisBroker.

Image via yourbuilding.org

Investors optimistic but weary for 2011

As usual at the beginning of a new year, most investors are optimistic about the nationbs economy for 2011, according to this Wall Street Journal article.

Nevertheless, some worry about the economy expanding too quickly and then boverheating.b WSJ reports:

bInvestors worried about the economy overheating this year say it will be far harder for the Fed to mount another rescue mission, which could lead to a spike in inflation and interest rates that could derail the recovery and torpedo market gains. Despite those fears, the vast majority of economists, market strategists and money managers say they see indicators pointing to a scenario of modest growth and low inflation in 2011.b

The article lays out three Goldilocks-like scenarios that could come to fruition this year: too hot, too cold and just right. You can check it out here, and then let us know your thoughts for 2011—especially as related to the commercial real estate industry.

Image via information-security-resources.com

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