Think Positive

May 25, 2011

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty

New figures were recently released by the NC Employment Security Commission which indicated the state added 2,900 nonfarm jobs during April.  In addition, the state’s unemployment rate held steady in April, remaining at 9.7 percent for the second month in a row.  Not tremendous growth, but at least on the positive side especially considering the disastrous job loss we had in 2009.

Along with this news, the North Carolina Department of Commerce released information that it has been working on 149 new projects with 74 actual projects announced.  Over 7,000 jobs have been created with a capital investment of $1.09 billion between January and May, 2011.

We can also celebrate some local good news with the Lenovo announcement on May 20th that it had signed a contract with Affiliated Computer Services, Inc, a Xerox Company, as part of an initiative to expand its Global Services business. The agreement will create approximately 300 new jobs in the Research Triangle region.

Oh, and I congratulate our hometown boy, Scotty McCreery who is a shining light for the Town of Garner and the State of North Carolina.  Way to go Scotty!

Just a few of the reasons why we have a lot to be thankful for living in North Carolina, and specifically the Triangle region.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you and your firm.

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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.


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.


Market Activity

August 12, 2010

Many of you may know that NAI Carolantic has researched and reported on the commercial real estate market for over 25 years as it relates to vacancy, absorption, new construction, etc.  However, you may not know we also track market ‘activity’ in several ways.

One of the ways we study activity is by the number of prospects in the market looking for property to buy or to lease.  In the first quarter of 2010, we saw an increase in activity, followed by a decrease in the second quarter.  Recently, however, we have started to see an upswing in activity. Things are not getting better as quickly as we might hope, but they ARE getting better.  I’m thankful I am living in the Research Triangle area and so are many of my clients. 

Richard Hibbits, Vice President, rhibbits@naicarolantic.com

As an example, despite being hammered for the last two years, most of my retail clients have survivied thankfully.  None of them expect a quick return to a buoyant economy, but they would be the first to tell you they are also glad to be in the Research Triangle area instead of almost anywhere else in the country.


Job Creation Planned-Economic Growth Predicted

June 18, 2010

According to Manpower’s quarterly employment outlook survey, 19% of employers in the Raleigh-Cary area plan to hire new staff.  Jobs in construction, goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, education and health services, leisure/hospitality and government are the top areas for growth.  John Connaughton, a prominent economist for UNC Charlotte predicts output increases in nine of the state’s eleven economic sections combining for a total of 2.2% overall growth by the end of 2010.  This would be the first sustained positive growth in two years according to the Triangle Business Journal.

Internationally, according to the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group, most countries reported positive GDP growth in the first quarter.  The report stated, “Recent monthly indicators suggest that global economic activity has continued to expand.  Although China may be slowing from the super-charged pace of growth earlier this year, the Chinese economy still has plenty of momentum behind it.  Moreover, recent monthly data from Japan, Korea and Taiwan indicate that the expansion in Asia, which began about a year ago, remains intact.”  

Scott Hadley, Broker, NAI Carolantic Realty

With over 325 offices worldwide, including China, Taiwan and Korea, we can help you there or here at home with a market analysis of your real estate position.  Please give us a call at 919-832-0594 or send us an email at questions@naicarolantic.com.  We look forward to an opportunity to be of service.


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.


State of the Research Triangle Region

May 27, 2010

Moss Withers, Broker, NAI Carolantic Realty

I was fortunate to attend the annual “State of the Research Triangle Region” presentation this morning at the Sheraton Imperial.  Approximately 800 of the area’s leading business executives attended the breakfast as a great way to network and understand what has taken place over the past year in the Triangle corporate community.  Charles Hayes, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, gave the audience an in-depth look at the region’s economic health and competitive position for the past year.  He also discussed areas of focus for the community moving forward. 

“Despite the one-year employment decline, the region posted a net employment gain of 50,000 over the past five years, with the fastest-growing jobs in healthcare, professional and technical services and educational services.  These job categories reflect the strength and growth of the region’s world-class life sciences and technology clusters, particularly pharmaceuticals and advanced medical care, as well as its major healthcare facilities and many institutions of higher learning,” said Hayes.  “The new year has brought signs that economic recovery is underway.  Through the first quarter of 2010, companies in life sciences, technology, defense and other industries have announced more than $65 million in investments for projects that will create another 900 jobs over the next few years.”

NAI Carolantic Realty was pleased to provide RTRP with the latest commercial real estate statistical information as it relates to vacancy, absorption, rental rates, and new construction for the office, multipurpose and shopping center categories.  As brokers, we often use the information RTRP has organized and provided as another marketing and analytical tool for both current and potential clients. 

For additional information on the presentation this morning, contact the Research Triangle Regional Partnership office at 919-840-7372 or visit them on the web at www.researchtriangle.org.  If we can be of assistance in analyzing your real estate position, please give us a call at 919.832.0594, or visit us on the web at www.naicarolantic.com.