Crexi National Commercial Real Estate Report: April 2021

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Welcome to the April 2021 edition of our monthly Crexi Trends report. We regularly analyze Crexi’s database, identifying relevant activity and patterns, to share key insights with our users. 

This report showcases trends found across Crexi’s CRE listings in April, evaluating average price per square foot, search behavior, occupancy, and other noteworthy metrics. With this information in hand, we hope to arm principals, tenants, and brokers with actionable learnings to make well-informed commercial real estate decisions.

chart describing month over month changes in average price per square foot on Crexi's five main asset classes in April 2021

Average Asking Price per Square Foot and Changes Month-over-Month

Overall asking prices per square foot rose 0.45% from March with minimal cap rate compression. Over the same period, the number of unpriced assets decreased slightly, pointing to a relative increase in pricing certainty. The pandemic drove many sellers to mask their listing prices on Crexi, with a high of nearly 17% of listings going unpriced in February 2021 (compared to pre-pandemic levels of 8-9% unpriced). That trend is now reversing as vaccines proliferate and the economy returns to normalcy. 

Rising occupancy rates for new listings added to Crexi in April ran parallel to sitewide gains in average asking prices. Continuing a five-month trend, the higher occupancy rates in Crexi’s marketplace point to the “return of the tenant” as the local economies reopen and tenants, more confident in their leasing needs, acquire more space. Additionally, property owners, who previously may have been reluctant to list for fear of asking prices being hurt by vacancies, are now bringing their occupied space to market.

Multifamily and industrial prices climbed the highest in asking price gains.

In April, multifamily assets added to Crexi boosted average asking prices by 7.59% compared to March metrics. Industrial price gains were close behind, with a 6.74% increase in average asking prices, maintaining a consistent rate of growth month-over-month since February. 

Retail properties for sale was the one asset class with pricing declines, but the average asking price per square foot dropped only 2.79% from a climb of over 10% in March. Overall retail gains have climbed 9.13% since January, and represent a 34.46% surge in year-over-year prices, from back at the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

Lease asking rates continued to rise at a slightly slower clip.

Average asking rates for for-rent properties added to Crexi in April rose from the month before, continuing a trend of gains that started in February. However, rates climbed only 1.14% from March. The slight pricing move was likely partially attributed to a decrease in average available square footage per asset, which dropped about 600 square feet month-over-month. 

Specific asset classes saw modest asking rate gains in April, with industrial assets accounting for the highest growth, a 2.39% increase from March.

Slight change in retail asset pricing indicates signs of stability and recovery.

Restaurants and retail lease assets, respectively, saw less than a 2% decline in average asking rents month over month. The average asking rate per square foot represents a 12.1% gain from January’s lowest, pointing to promising growth in retail demand.

Compared to the volatile rate declines at the beginning of the pandemic, the slight fluctuation hints at a promising recovery as the economy emerges from its shutdown and vaccinations continue. 

Chicago attracted the lion’s share of buyer and seller interest, ahead of Texas metros.

Chicago saw a surge of buyer and tenant interest on Crexi in April. We observed a 17.82% increase in search queries on our platform compared to March. The leasing side of the market also showed impressive growth, with a 39.88% jump in tenants seeking Chicago property for lease. 

Dallas and Houston were close behind, showing respective increases of 12% and 6.85% in interested property seekers. Both cities also reported impressive gains on the leasing side, with tenant searches jumping 36.54% for Dallas and 15.32% for Houston month-over-month.

Highest Average Asking Price per Square Foot By State — April 2021

chart describing month over month changes in average price per square foot on by state in April 2021 - part 1
chart describing month over month changes in average price per square foot on by state in April 2021 - part 2
chart describing month over month changes in average price per square foot on by state in April 2021 - part 3
chart describing month over month changes in average price per square foot on by state in April 2021 - part 4
chart describing month over month changes in average price per square foot on by state in April 2021 - part 5

Disclaimer: This article’s information is based on Crexi’s internal marketplace data and additional external sources. While asking price in many ways reflects market conditions, variations in pricing are affected by changes in inventory, asset size, etc. Nothing contained on this website is intended to be construed as investing advice. Any reference to an investment’s past or potential performance should not be construed as a recommendation or guarantee towards a specific outcome.

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