Maintain Optimism…Jobs Are Returning

October 18, 2010

John Hibbits, Broker, NAI Carolantic Realty, jhibbits@naicarolantic.com

Generally I’m an optimistic guy and this time I don’t have to worry about reality being disconnected from my fantastic view of it.  The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to a recovering market.  

The recent October issue of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership Report was filled with information on job growth for North Carolina and specifically the Triangle region. Among the long list of companies locating or expanding included: EMC Corp., Medicago, Cree, Novo Nordisk, GE, BioCryst, SuperValu, and Siemens.  Job growth is especially strong for alternative energy firms.  According to the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, they forecast a 22% increase in jobs this year, and a projected 20% increase for 2011.   

Our area gets great national attention in various publications. Forbes magazine continues to dole out awards to North Carolina, ranking our state as the third best state for business in the US.  That is up two spots from last year.  Forbes indicated the key reasons to be regulatory environment, labor supply and growth prospects. 

According to Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics, North Carolina is the third best state for declining unemployment and fourth in the nation for job creation. Unemployment is down from 11.1% in January to 9.7% now.  No surprise as Manpower recently ranked the Raleigh-Cary metro area as the number one strongest job market in the nation in September. 

Are we seeing an end to the recession? The Kiplinger report said yes over a month ago.  I remain pragmatically optimistic and look forward to working with you in the future.

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Nothing Could Be Finer…

September 24, 2010

We can’t say it enough…the Raleigh/Durham region is one of the best places in the US to live, work and play.  This was reconfirmed this week when I attended the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board meeting and heard the latest Economic Development report.  From May 15-September 15, Wake County Economic Development has assigned 12 new projects, had 7 client visits and had 104 existing industry interactions.   Twenty projects are actively being worked on by staff and will represent a potential total of $305,625,000 in new investment and 3,293 new jobs.  There have also been 18 companies who have relocated or expanded in the area since May.  They include:  BB&T, Deere & Co., Kyma Technologies, Inc., Rex Healthcare, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, and Pensk Truck Leasing Co.  These 18 companies account for 267 new jobs and over $167.9 million in new investment.

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty, Jbarnes@naicarolantic.com

Despite the sluggish commercial real estate market, we do see some activity.  One of our brokers, Scott Hadley, just completed a large lease renewal and expansion for FMI.  Another broker, Gray Creech, closed on two office condos, and I recently completed at 25,000sf lease with BeavEx in RTP. We continue to work with several clients in locating new sites for their operations. In addition, we are helping several banks dispose of excess real estate with closings occurring in North and South Carolina.

Let us know if we can be of assistance to you.  As the song goes, “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina!”

NOTE:  Be sure to mark your calendar for our 26th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference scheduled for January 12, 2011 at the RBC Center in Raleigh.  This invitation-only event continues to be one of the most unique gatherings of Triangle business and community leaders.


Industrial Market Update

September 2, 2010

Ed Brown, SIOR, CCIM, NAI Carolantic Realty

The Triangle’s industrial warehouse market with over 23 million square feet has shown positive net absorption during the 2nd quarter of 2010. This is significant since the previous seven quarters have reflected negative absorption. Stagnant job growth, a slowdown in the construction industry, and a decrease in manufacturing have all contributed to the negative warehouse absorption. This past quarter was a positive sign for us, but we still have a long way to go before the market reaches equilibrium. 

Additional good news is that due to a limited supply of available buildings to purchase, existing buildings are maintaining their value in Wake and Durham Counties.  We recently had the good fortune of selling an 80,000sf building by RDU airport for $45/psf and a 16,000sf warehouse for $44/psf.  Prices significantly drop in the surrounding rural counties as the Hohn building in Louisburg, (Franklin County), sold for $7.50/psf.  The Purolator building in Vance County sold between $7.00 – $8.00/psf.  The Lenox building in Oxford traded for $19/psf due to an existing tenant in the building wanting to purchase the property. 

Industrial land sales in the Raleigh/Durham area continue to be slow.  We did recently sell an eight acre site on the south side of Raleigh at I-40 and Hwy 70 for $2.45/psf. This is representative of current market values for industrial land.   

If I can assist with any industrial properties in Wake, Durham or surrounding counties, please give me a call at 919-832-0594 or email ebrown@naicarolantic.com.  The Triangle industrial market has been my focus for over 24 years and I would welcome an opportunity to meet with you.


Which came first, the Ranking or Renewed Activity?

June 3, 2010

Many of you know, Portfolio.com rated Raleigh as the number one U.S. metro with the best quality of life.  Major factors in the decision were the population growth rate (37% total increase since 2000), the large supply of upper level jobs (44% of Raleigh workers hold management or professional positions), a well-educated workforce (41% of the workforce holds a bachelor’s degree), and the abundance of new homes (over half of all houses in the Raleigh area were built within the last 20 years).

Additional positive news was from the Employment Security Commission of NC, indicating overall unemployment for the Triangle area dropped to 8.1%. Orange county reported the best unemployment numbers with 5.9%. Wake and Durham Counties followed close behind with rates of 8% and 7.4%.

What does this mean for the commercial real estate market?  Renewed Activity! 

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty

Just this past month, our brokers handled approximately 140,000 square feet of leases involving office, flex, warehouse and retail space. Many of these transactions were new leases and others were lease renewals in existing locations.  In addition, NAI Carolantic brokers handled several sales transactions with a total value of approximately $7 million. 

Regardless of whether the rankings help our area first, or the renewed activity help generate the rankings, the market is showing signs of recovery.  Please let us know if we can be of help to you.


Gaining Traction in Today’s Real Estate Market

May 13, 2010

The NAI Carolantic brokers recently attended a two-day regional NAI meeting to discuss current economic trends and additional ways to assist our clients.  The meeting, held in Charlotte, was very productive and attended by over 80 NAI brokers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and some from the DC area as well as New York.  In networking with these NAI brokers, the general consensus was that there are some sectors of the market that appear to be trying to gain some traction.  Most of this activity is user driven, and for properties that are both well located and reasonably priced.

Mark Everett, Broker, NAI Carolantic Realty

This is consistent with what I see in the Triangle market and includes various types of owner occupied buildings. I believe activity has picked up and the market is looking for ways to be re-energized.  If you have the need or desire to own your building, you can still get a deal done.  Financing is available for owner occupied real estate including traditional bank financing as well as SBA loans.  Couple that with available land parcels and favorable interest rates and it is a great time to purchase or build your own facility.  Give me a call and let’s see if I can help you ‘gain some traction’ in handling your real estate needs.