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CRE in Recovery with Increased Lending

Like the office vacancy news we shared earlier this week, another article has mentioned that commercial real estate bhas entered recovery mode,b this time from The Wall Street Journal. Rather than lower office vacancy, more lending is cited as a catalyst of recovery for the national commercial market. With this new lending, new and halted construction projects are able to progress.

Although some commercial real estate loans resulted in bank failures during the economic downturn, a portion of the bigger national banks are slowly beginning to offer construction loans again, WSJ reports. Office buildings, shopping centers and apartment complexes are among the commercial buildings people could start seeing slowly sprouting up again. Note the word slowly. The billings index from the American Institute of Architects rose in the last two months of 2010, but is expected to have been stable in January—a key sign that the recovery isnbt moving quickly.

You can learn more about increased lending sparking CRE construction from WSJ.

Image: uflib.ufl.edu

National and South Florida Office Vacancy Declined

This year started on a positive note for corporate real estate, especially in terms of occupancy, according to National Real Estate Investor and based on a Colliers International report. National fourth quarter numbers revealed office vacancy declined, and the office market is in bthe recovery stage.b Nevertheless, rents did not show improvement.

These national trends also can be seen in our area, the South Florida market, where vacancy dropped but rents are still suffering, according to the South Florida Business Journal. In fact, in Miami-Dade County, vacancy dropped from 18.1 percent to 17.8 percent in the last quarter of 2010, but rents actually dropped from the third to the fourth quarter. Also, the business journal reports that:

bFor the first time since 2007, absorption b the net change in occupied space b was positive, totaling 586,065 square feet last year, compared with negative absorption of 917,247 square feet in 2009.b

In Palm Beach County, office vacancy was the highest in the region at nearly 22 percent.

If your business is looking for South Florida commercial real estate, contact Morris Southeast Group/CORFAC International today.

Image: Steffen via Flickr

Business Innovation Depends on Leadership

As a company that provides corporate real estate services, we like to keep up with the latest in workplace trends and business innovations. A recent Businessweek article naturally drew our attention, as it discusses the role of leadership in an organizationbs ability to innovate.

Many managers now are focusing mostly on the difficulties of todaybs business world. But to remain competitive, they also must think about the future—how the business can grow and evolve for the better. The Businessweek article offers lessons in bputting innovation into practice,b focusing on the importance of leadership. It highlights six steps for executing business innovations, from gathering a development team to following up and sharing successes. If youbre interested in business innovation, we suggest you take a look at it.

To follow all of Morris Southeast Groupbs updates on innovations, the changing workplace and commercial real estate, simply subscribe to have our posts sent right to your email inbox.

Image: adservices.net/blog

Government Offers Incentives for Energy Efficiency in CRE

The program includes tax credits and loan guarantees to encourage energy efficiency in commercial buildings, including offices. State and municipal governments are being spurred to help by the governmentbs competitive bRace to Greenb grants, according to the article. The U.S. Green Building Council also applauds the policy, saying many of the commercial buildings nationwide are wasting energy and resources.

You can learn more about the green effort for commercial buildings from NREI. What do you think about the incentives and the push for more energy efficiency in commercial real estate? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Image: business.mt.gov

Waving Goodbye to the Standard Office Cubicle

Evolving technology and a rough economy have contributed to new office landscapes, with a trend of most employees losing space, according to Many companies are axing the idea of a cubicle in favor of a more open plan, while others are condensing the cubicle footprint from 8-by-10 feet to about 5-by-5 feet. Sleeker and slimmer technology is requiring less space, but thatbs not the only contributing factor. With smartphones and other technology allowing more flexibility in work schedules and making it easier to work remotely, businesses are seeing that some employees really donbt need their own space.

People disagree on the effect of less space on todaybs workers. Though some point out this allows for more flexibility, others worry about employees feeling crowded or less valued.

How is your business changing the office setup in reaction to new technology? Leave a comment with your thoughts on smaller workspaces.

Image: archiexpo.com

Commercial Real Estate Shows Wavering Improvement

Some areas of commercial real estate are looking good, though others are less positive, indicating the recovery will still be a slow one, as explained by this Wall Street Journal article. Commercial real estate losses have hit banks to the tune of $80 billion, only half of the Federal Reservebs estimate for their total losses due to the recession.

But a Federal Reserve official said bworst-case scenarios are becoming increasingly unlikelyb at a commercial real estate hearing last week, WSJ reports. There are examples of big deals, especially in larger cities. But unfortunately, the increasing commercial property values are due more to the appeal of low interest rates to investors rather than actual upticks in rent or vacancy rates—two areas that must improve to boost the recovery.

Learn more about the wavering commercial real estate recovery from WSJ. And for South Florida commercial real estate services, contact Morris Southeast Group/CORFAC International today.

Image: Marlith via Flickr

Survey Shows Optimism for Florida Real Estate

The outlook for Florida real estate has become more optimistic in multiple markets, including boffice occupancy, retail occupancy, land investment and capital availability,b according to the University of Floridabs Survey of Emerging Market Conditions for the fourth quarter.

Whatbs behind this positivity? Many points, including fewer political unknowns—the results of mid-term elections now decided, Amendment 4 not passing and a new governor trying to attract more businesses to the area. Respondents across the state showed optimism in both occupancy and rent for every property type, and the survey showed the most positive outlook since 2006.

Given Floridabs 12 percent unemployment rate and other budget worries, the respondents were still hesitant with their optimism, but the overall outlook is encouraging. The survey had 271 respondents in 13 of Floridabs urban areas.

For commercial real estate services in South Florida, contact Morris Southeast Group/CORFAC International. We offer owner representation, tenant representation, help with investment sales and corporate services for companies with multiple locations.

Image via pensionpulse.blogspot.com

Handling Business Innovations

As a company that provides corporate real estate services, we like to keep up with changes in todaybs workplace, which more and more are brought about by innovation—a follow-through of new ideas and, thus, a catalyst for change. Businesses that successfully integrate innovations into their organization usually respond to these changes with good management and adaptation, like founder of Business Strategy Innovation Braden Kelley describes in this article.

Why is adaptability so important? Because innovations affect an entire company, from customers and employees to marketing, operations and beyond. From the article:

bIt should be clear that as an organization is imagining how to take their creative idea and transform it into a valuable innovation in the marketplace, they also should be imagining all of the organizational changes that are going to be required and how they will implement them.b

You can read more about how to handle business innovation here. How does your company approach implementing new ideas?

Image: inventorsdigest.com

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