Updates in Raleigh Commercial Real Estate

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Raleigh, North Carolina’s “City of Oaks,” stands tall as one of the nation’s fastest-growing markets for commercial real estate investing and leasing.

The dynamic metro area has seen a surge in population and employment growth in the last decade, making it a competitive market for office and retail investments as the city expands. Crexi equips individuals seeking to invest or lease in Raleigh commercial real estate with the tools needed to quickly search, analyze, and transact property.

Raleigh brokers, and those representing Raleigh properties nationwide, harness Crexi’s robust platform and marketing tools to develop their network and close more deals. To date, Crexi empowered brokers have completed more than $300 billion in commercial transactions, representing more than $1.2 trillion in property listings.

Crexi proudly supports Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Cary, and surrounding communities as the region’s fastest-growing online CRE platform.

The State of Raleigh Commercial Real Estate 

Raleigh is rated as one of the top commercial real estate markets in 2021. Dynamics driving the demand for commercial space in metropolitan Raleigh include population and job growth, and very competitive office and retail rents spurring business expansion and relocation.

Located in the southern part of North Carolina, Raleigh is the capital and the second-largest city in the state. The diverse economy is powered by life science institutions, world-class technology companies such as Amazon and Google, and a pro-development, business friendly government that strives to create a high quality of life for the businesses and residents who work, live, and play in Raleigh.

The region boasts more than 9,000 acres of parkland and one of the tastiest food scenes in the Southeastern U.S. Sports fans can cheer on the NHL Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena, while art lovers will find five must-see museums in Raleigh, including the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Raleigh Regional Breakdown

Even though Raleigh has a small-town atmosphere, the population density of Raleigh is similar to Atlanta and Austin. Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z keep moving to Raleigh for the job opportunities, lower cost of living, and high quality of life:

  • Raleigh is home to about 475,000 residents with over 1.3 million people living in the metropolitan area.
  • Population of Raleigh has grown by more than 2% year-over-year.
  • By 2035 the population of Raleigh is projected to increase by another 125,000 people.
  • Metropolitan Raleigh consists of Wake and Durham counties.
  • Primary suburbs and satellite towns in the metro area include Wake Forest, Cary, Morrisville, Clayton, and Knightdale.
  • Median age in Raleigh is 37.3 years with 55% of the population between the ages of 20 and 59.

STEM (science, technology, education, mathematics) job opportunities are rapidly growing in Raleigh. Commercial real estate investors may be surprised to learn that Raleigh is outpacing traditional high-tech cities such as Boston and San Francisco for high-tech employment, biotech, and creation of new STEM jobs:

  • The GDP of the Raleigh MSA is over $94.8 billion and has grown by more than 87% over the past decade.
  • Employment rate in Raleigh increased over 3.5% last year, while the median household income grew 9.45% year-over-year.
  • The unemployment rate in metropolitan Raleigh is 3.9%.
  • Employment sectors showing the strongest signs of growth in Raleigh include trade and transportation, professional and business services, and information technology.
  • Raleigh anchors one corner of the North Carolina Research Triangle, home to one of the world’s largest high-tech and biotechnology research parks.
  • Major employers in Raleigh include Duke Energy Progress, North Carolina State University, the State of North Carolina, UNC Rex Healthcare, and WakeMed Health and Hospitals.
  • Capital Broadcasting, First Citizens BancShares, and Red Hat software are major companies based in the Raleigh metropolitan area.
  • Major universities in and around Raleigh include Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Over 92% of Raleigh residents are high school graduates or higher, while 48% hold a bachelor’s or an advanced degree.

The transportation infrastructure of the Raleigh metro area includes major highway Interstate 40, Amtrak, and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, serving domestic and international travelers, along with FedEx and UPS cargo service.

Raleigh Industrial Market

Market vacancies in the Raleigh industrial market are near record lows, with leasing activity driven by tenants in the logistics, clean-tech, retail, pharmaceutical, and life science industries. Several large buildings and tech parks are being redeveloped for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical distribution uses:

  • Total industrial inventory: 92,505,358 SF
  • Average asking rent: $8.62 per SF per year, NNN
  • Vacancy rate: 3.7%
  • Absorption: 3,056,514 SF Q1 2021
  • New construction: 564,795 SF under construction as of Q1 2021
  • Most active industrial areas: Morrisville, Raleigh, Knightdale, Durham, Chapel Hill, Roxboro

Discover Raleigh industrial space for rent.

Raleigh Office Market

The absorption of office space in Raleigh has been trending negative year-to-date, while nearby Durham has seen net gains in office absorption. The Raleigh office market is home to more traditional businesses, with many employees still working from home. Typical office tenants in Durham are in the medical, pharmaceutical, and life sciences industries, which require workers to be onsite:

  • Total office inventory: 75,189,301 SF
  • Average asking rents: $27.45 per SF per year, NNN
  • Overall vacancy rate: 7.8%
  • Absorption: – 261,110 SF Q1 2021
  • Leasing activity: 1,021,674 SF
  • New construction: 1,759,394 SF of office space under construction
  • Recent leasing activity: Schneider Electric USA 65,000 SF, Charles & Colvard manufacturing 36,344 SF, Acute Investments real estate 22,121 SF

Discover Raleigh office space for lease. 

Raleigh Retail Market

Compared to other areas, the Raleigh/Durham retail market has performed relatively well throughout the pandemic and is poised to outperform this year. The metropolitan area’s strong demographics, robust job market, population growth, and gains in median household income should help support the retail market in the long-term:

  • Total retail inventory: 38,188,932 SF
  • Average asking rent: $21.42 per SF per year, NNN
  • Total vacancy rate: 4.4%
  • Net absorption: 92,941 SF Q1 2021
  • New construction: 7,800 SF delivered with 33,065 SF under construction
  • Recent retail activity: Expansion of the North Hills shopping center to mixed-use residential and office space; redevelopment of the Cary Towne Center. 

Discover Raleigh retail property for lease.

Raleigh Multifamily Market

The performance of the Raleigh multifamily market remains strong, with rents spiking and occupancy increasing due to a supply shortage. Demand for multifamily in Raleigh/Durham is being driven by growth in the labor market and expansion of technology and life science companies such as Amazon, Eli Lilly, Fujifilm, and Google:

  • Total housing units: 562,945
  • Renter occupied: 34%
  • Asking rent: $1,263 per month
  • Average cap rate: 4.6%
  • Median sales price per unit: $157,600
  • Vacancy rate: 8.5%
  • New construction: 789 units delivered through Q1 2021 with 5,268 currently under construction
  • Most popular neighborhoods: Downtown Raleigh, Brier Creek, Cameron Village, Lakeview
  • Median household income: $80,096
  • Per capita income: $40,209

Discover Raleigh multifamily property for sale.

How Crexi Connects Buyers and Tenants to Raleigh Commercial Real Estate

Buyers and tenants seeking commercial property in Raleigh can quickly find a listing that suits their needs thanks to Crexi’s simple search functionality and hundreds of listing options. 

It takes only a few clicks to browse through Raleigh’s commercial property for lease or sale options. Crexi makes it easy to narrow buyer or tenant searches by many variables, including square footage, price or rate per square foot, cap rate, asset type and subtypes, vacancy, and even neighborhood.

Upon finding a suitable listing, buyers and tenants can easily reach out to the representative broker to learn more information. Property seekers can also download brochures and PDFs and even submit their letter of intent (LOI) directly from the property page.

Intelligence Equips Investors with Data and Market Knowledge 

Research and data are essentials in any commercial real estate investor’s toolkit, and Crexi Intelligence offers one of the most robust collections of research features in the CRE world. 

Intelligence equips Raleigh property seekers with millions of property records and sales comparables, capped by over 50 MSA market reports. The Crexi Insights tab, featured on every property page, gives users real-time data about any market with which to make decisions. Raleigh buyers and tenants can easily see the region’s average asking price, square footage, demographic insights, and other economic and regional data.

Intelligence is available to buyers, sellers, and tenants on a subscription basis.

How Raleigh Brokers Thrive with Crexi

Raleigh brokers market nearly 100 properties for sale and 500 listings for lease on Crexi within city limits. Commercial agents in Raleigh represent a growing hotspot of investment and leasing opportunities and use Crexi to connect their properties with interested clients nationwide. Thanks to Crexi’s robust broker tools, Raleigh agents can access real-time insights into every potential lead, allowing them to engage immediately.

Raleigh commercial brokers can market their property across a variety of asset classes and subtypes, such as: 

  • Retail properties
  • Industrial buildings
  • Offices units 
  • Multifamily developments
  • Land 
  • Hospitality assets
  • Mixed-Use listings
  • Non-traditional properties such as self-storage, data centers, etc.

Brokers in Raleigh use Crexi’s digital tools to guide their listings from marketing to close. Every step of the due diligence process can be completed online, with Crexi’s easy and secure file management and storage.

And while Crexi’s free broker tools are powerful, Crexi’s real advantages emerge with Sale PRO, Lease PRO, and All PRO

Crexi’s All PRO Membership

Crexi’s PRO memberships take Raleigh brokers’ workflows to the next level, with advanced tools to speed up pipelines and close more deals. PRO brokers gain access to highly detailed lead data and management, alongside reporting tools that allow them to prioritize networking, and connect with the highest-impact leads.

Brokers’ PRO listings also receive preferred tile placement at the top of Crexi’s search pages, curated by machine-learning to show users the most relevant properties. Weekly email blasts send PRO listings to relevant property seekers,earning a 10-15% higher click rate than industry benchmarks.

PRO users have access to Intelligence’s robust research and data tools at no added cost, further bolstering their market expertise, thereby adding additional value to clients.

With Crexi PRO, brokers can efficiently access the more than 37,000 leads who have sought Raleigh properties in the last two years, as well as the over 3 million leads nationwide who used Crexi to find property in 2020.

On average, Crexi PRO users engage 125% more leads and win six to eight more deals than non-PRO brokers.

Contact support@crexi.com to learn more about All PRO.

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Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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