U.S. employment rose by 157,000 jobs in July—short of both the consensus expectation for 190,000 and the past year's average monthly gain of 203,000. Excluding losses from the Toys R Us bankruptcy, the figure was very close to target. Unemployment fell slightly to 3.9%, while labor force participation went unchanged at 62.9%. Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents month-over-month, and wages were up 2.7% year-over-year. Substantial revisions to May and June jobs numbers resulted in a net gain of 59,000 jobs. The past year has seen employment grow by nearly 2.4 million jobs...
Many critics claim that China’s property market is entering choppy waters, given escalating trade conflict with the U.S., domestic developers' mounting debt, and unprecedented deleveraging.
The reality is more nuanced; while some sectors may endure short-term discomfort, the resilient market is likely to emerge unscathed from the current turbulence. Recent government measures, such as those opening the financial sector to qualified foreign investors and relaxing some FDI restrictions, are likely to offset much of any negative impact...
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 4.1% in Q2—the strongest gain since 2014. In addition, Q1 growth was revised upward to 2.2% from 2.0%. Growth was driven by broad gains in consumption, exports, investment and government spending...
The U.S. and China recently imposed import tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s products, and may add more in weeks to come. The U.S. has also threatened tariffs on imports from Europe, Canada and Mexico; if we followed through, they would likely respond in kind. Given that imports require more space than exports, should trade disputes escalate, demand for U.S. industrial will likely decline...
June’s jobs report signals that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing, despite geopolitical and trade tensions. Other recent signs of strength include solid personal income and spending data. Jobs gains in retail, construction and manufacturing suggest that the economy continues to expand, showing late-cycle strength. While wage growth also beat expectations in June, it remains well below its historic trend.
While financial markets have demonstrated some volatility over trade tensions, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is largely unchanged since February, and is nearly 25 bps below its May peak...
Rising U.S. interest rates and an uncertain outlook for the dollar have driven up hedging costs for investors from Japan and South Korea over the past year, making it harder for them to compete for U.S. real estate deals. This is beginning to impact the market—investment volume for Japanese and South Korean investors was down 62% year-over-year in Q1. Investment strategies continue to adjust and Asian investors aren't out of the game, but the pace has certainly slowed...
May’s jobs report might signal that the U.S. economy, after modest growth in Q1, is back on the move despite geopolitical and trade tensions. Outsized gains in retail, construction and manufacturing suggest an economy that is firing on all cylinders. Although wage growth also beat expectations in May, at 2.7% year over year, it remains well below historic trends.
Financial markets have been jittery lately over trade tensions and political unrest in Italy; the 10-year Treasury yield dipped below 2.8% on May 29. Stronger jobs numbers have pushed the yield back above 2.9%, however, and the dollar index has gained 0.2% as of today...
Voices everywhere are suggesting that automation is about to radically change how the service sector works and generates demand for space. With U.S. manufacturing having been automating its processes for decades, we have just completed a study of how robots and automation have impacted U.S. industrial space markets since 1990...
Monthly jobs reports continue to offer a mixed picture of the economy. April's job gains were lower than expected, while unemployment fell due to 236,000 leaving the workforce. Wage growth continued to puzzle, slowing despite the shrinking labor pool. Although low jobs numbers and slower wage growth might suggest slowing economic growth, lower employment gains might indicate that the labor market is reaching its limit, making an acceleration in wages imminent. The underemployment rate will be a key metric in the coming months; the still-high rate is often seen as a sign that the labor market has yet to reach capacity, explaining why wages haven’t increased significantly...
U.S. GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.3% in Q1—slower than Q4's 2.9% but quicker than the 2.1% consensus estimate. The better-than-expected performance came even though the economy was rattled by volatile stock markets and the announcement of potential tariffs on certain imports. Growth slower than the previous three quarters was due to weaker contributions from personal consumption expenditure, non-residential fixed investment, exports and government spending. Despite a buildup in inventories, slightly slower import growth subtracted a little from overall GDP growth...
The apartment data we published today features revised historical time series, prompted by growth in the dataset. As our providers continue to expand their metro sample sizes and their overall geographic coverage, we have enhanced our aggregation methodology to give us greater flexibility in incorporating the new data...
CBRE Hotels' Americas Research annually surveys thousands of hotels' operating statements for our annual Trends® in the Hotel Industry report. In advance of the 2018 edition's early summer publication, we would like to share with EA clients the data tables from the report, along with some observations...
The tax benefits of renting a home vs. buying will increase in 29 of the 35 largest U.S. markets—up from 15 markets before tax reform. Limitations on state and local tax deductions and the loss of the mortgage interest deduction on home purchases above $750,000 will marginally impact housing costs in high-cost markets, but will have negligible impact on population flows. The overall economic impact should be positive, but it's uncertain for how long, given the reform's late-cycle timing and the question of whether corporate tax savings will be sufficiently reinvested to cause job growth...
Richard Barkham, EA’s Chairman and CBRE Global Chief Economist, recently addressed the National Association for Business Economists regarding the economic cycle and its current implications for commercial real estate. As EA has consistently been at the frontier of thought leadership for commercial real estate, we thought we would share his slides and his thoughts to the broader community.
Monthly job growth has averaged a relatively strong 202,000 for the past three months, but remains volatile, as do revisions. Average hourly earnings rose slightly in March. Wages have risen by 2.7% this year. In these results, there is no reason to think the Fed might change course in its normalization of monetary policy. Markets have already priced in two additional rate increases this year. The Fed could consider a third increase if wage growth remains above 2.5%, given uneven productivity growth.
Although many U.S. apartment markets and submarkets are seeing elevated supply trends soften their fundamentals, in some cases this is needed supply and these are the natural “growing pains” of densifying, maturing cities.
Blockchain has great potential to improve transaction efficiency in commercial real estate by easing due diligence and administrative requirements. Blockchain requires a large and functional ecosystem of participants, however, which has yet to form in the CRE space.
President Trump’s recent executive order imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports (25% and 10%, respectively) could increase the cost of commercial real estate construction. Costs will vary by asset type, local market conditions and materials used, but high-rise office and industrial building construction costs could rise modestly. While commodity prices have fluctuated in recent years, the primary driver of higher construction costs has been a scarcity of skilled labor, particularly in metro areas with the most development activity.
The mall is one of the most successful business models of all time, so its recent loss of traction in the marketplace has caused concern in the U.S. retail property sector. There has been a tendency to attribute the lack of growth to online sales and concomitant growth in the logistics sector, but is e-commerce really the juggernaut of popular perception?
Employment gains continued to surprise to the upside in February. Meanwhile, wage growth slowed slightly—after the strong January increase that led investors to believe higher wage growth might be imminent. February’s report may quell some of that concern. Hiring increases were broad-based and robust in the construction, retail trade, manufacturing, professional & business services, financial activities, health care and mining sectors.
I recently moved from Boston to Denver and the difference in cost of living served as a welcome income multiplier. I'm not alone in that experience: strong push and pull factors are underpinning U.S. demographic and migration trends (and the local economic strength of markets like Denver, Austin, Nashville, Phoenix and more).
It was a pleasure to present to CBRE colleagues and clients at the Union Club League of Chicago yesterday. My discussion addressed the current global economy's near-term implications for U.S. CRE. For those interested, the slides are here.
The economy started off 2018 on a strong note, with employment gains surprising on the upside. Job growth has slowed in the past two years but remains solid. A tighter labor market may finally be translating into greater pay increases for workers—wages saw their largest increase since 2009 in January. Hiring was broad-based and robust in the construction, manufacturing, food services and health care sectors, with employment continuing to trend upward.
Eliminating the SALT deduction will ultimately reduce aggregate spending on public education, infrastructure, public safety and other locally and state-funded services. Many in Congress believe improving such services is necessary to make the U.S. more productive and competitive and to grow its economy. Ironically, eliminating SALT could have the opposite effect.
One piece of economic news went relatively unnoticed in the lead-up to the Fed’s December rate-hike decision: South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea—often considered a bellwether of interest rates in Asia—had already raised its benchmark rate at the end of November.
Gross Domestic Product grew at an annualized rate of 2.6% in Q4—slower than both the 3.2% registered in Q3 and the 3.0% consensus estimate. The weaker-than-expected growth reflected some drag from net exports and inventories, which somewhat offset the quarter's strong consumer spending. Government spending rose 3%, amid post-hurricane rebuilding efforts. For the year, GDP grew by 2.3% in 2017, up from 1.5% in 2016.
The new tax reform act lowers the cap on the mortgage interest deduction and extends the holding period for capital gains inclusion. While the latter is probably good, the former will do little for homeownership.
The new tax reform act provides for a new and novel way to depreciate new capital investment—plant, equipment and buildings. In theory, the positive impact could be significant. In the current context, however, expensing raises some concerns.
In multifamily investment, a market’s supply pipeline is a critical factor in site selection. A looming supply overhang can raise vacancy and slow or invert rent growth, hurting revenue. Units under construction are the primary measure of supply risk, but it’s important to consider the risk posed by planned units as well.
The Federal Reserve has raised the federal funds rate 25 bps, to a target range of 1.25% to 1.50%. This was the Fed’s fourth 25-bps increase since December 2016 and was widely anticipated given the economy’s recent near-3% quarterly growth, robust job growth, record-low unemployment, modest wage gains and rising consumer and producer prices.
October saw 261,000 jobs added, and September's decline has been revised to an 18,000-job gain, re-establishing the longest streak of monthly job gains since the series was begun in 1939. Although October's gain came in below consensus, the solid growth and upward revisions show the hurricanes' impact on employment to have been less severe than was thought in September.
China’s 19th National Congress was held in Beijing earlier this month. The meeting convenes every five years and sets the tone for Chinese economic and monetary policy for years to come. Here's what American CRE should know about this year's Congress.
Gross Domestic Product grew at an annualized rate of 3.0% in Q3 2017, surpassing the 2.5% consensus estimate. This was the best third quarter since Q3 2014—when growth was 5.2%—and it was only the third time that growth has reached 3% or higher in the past 12 quarters.
At CBRE Research’s annual conference last month, I joined Mark Carrier from BF Saul Hospitality group and Kate Henriksen from RLJ Lodging Trust to discuss the current cycle, peaking supply, the sharing economy, and more.
For CRE, autonomous driving will amount to a major disruptive force. In a recent podcast, CBRE's Spencer Levy and Jeremy Neuer cover some of its less-discussed implications, including greater senior citizen mobility, job loss in car-adjacent industries, and the adaptive re-use of office spaces that include parking structures.
International occupancy is an important component of U.S. hotel demand, but exactly how important has not been well-established by data from trusted industry sources. Here, we used U.S. government statistics, city travel and tourism reports, and a set of assumptions to estimate international guest stays' demand contribution, for selected large cities and the nation. We found that international visitors consume a greater share of hotel room nights than you might expect.
U.S. employment fell by 33,000 jobs in September—the first monthly loss since September 2010—ending the longest streak of monthly job gains on record. The loss was partially attributed to last month's two major hurricanes. With downward revisions to July and August, the rolling three-month average is now 91,000 jobs, down from 185,000 last month. On a positive note, wage growth improved significantly, unemployment fell from 4.4% to 4.2%, and the labor force participation rate rose from 62.9% to 63.1%.
It’s no surprise that concessions are on the rise in many multifamily markets, and operators and developers are increasingly turning to non-traditional concessions. Here we show how such concessions can have a material impact on returns.
At our conference this month in D.C., Ken Simonson of AGC and Jamie Woodwell from MBA shared their distinct perspectives on which policy issues were potentially most consequential for real estate. Tax reform and immigration were discussed in depth.
At its latest meeting, the Fed kept the federal funds rate at 1.0%-1.25%. An increase is expected in December, with economic conditions generally good. Commercial real estate fundamentals remain strong, and a Q4 rebound in economic growth should keep them healthy at least through H1 2018.
U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in August, which was below the consensus forecast for 180,000. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 185,000—10,000 fewer than last month’s rolling average. This is a healthy pace and the economy remains in good shape, but job growth is starting to slow slightly: 2017 has averaged 176,000 new jobs monthly, down from 2016's 187,000. Surprisingly, wage growth has not accelerated, despite the tight labor market. August's 2.5% wage growth maintained the pace we've seen for most of the past year.
U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs in July, which was above the consensus forecast of 180,000 jobs. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 195,000. This is a healthy pace and the economy remains in good shape, but job growth may be slowing slightly: 2017 has averaged 184,000 new jobs monthly, down from 2016's 187,000. Surprisingly, wage growth has not accelerated, despite the tight labor market. July's 2.5% wage growth maintained the pace we've seen for most of the past year.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Q2 2017 grew by 2.6% at an annualized rate, in line with consensus expectations. This was the best quarter since Q3 2016 when growth was 2.8%. By comparison, growth in the second quarter last year was 2.2% and in Q2 2015 was 2.7%.
Real estate cap rates' decline alongside government interest rates over the past 30 years has buoyed returns, with property values at pace with inflation but property net income falling behind. If cap rates begin to rise, appreciation could vanish.
U.S. employers added 222,000 jobs in June, which was above the consensus forecast of 170,000 jobs. Monthly job gains have averaged 194,000 over the past three months. The current unemployment rate is low, but there is no clear trend in overall job generation. Certain sectors, such as health care, continue to see growth. Other sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and transportation, remain flat.
Observing that apartment assets near light rail stations achieve higher rents and revenue than others, we looked into whether that proximity confers the advantage, and whether other factors play a part.
On the strength of the current and future apartment construction pipeline, headlines and commentary are all over the place: It's common to see "boom," "explosion" and "surge" characterizing the current environment, even as reports assert that not enough housing is being built and that much more multifamily housing will be needed to keep up with demand. Which narrative is correct?
Since the Fed resumed its (so far, incremental) increases in December, long-term rates have remained stable, keeping cap rate increases limited. CRE fundamentals remain strong, so improved economic growth should lead to an extended cycle.
CBRE recently released the fourth installment in its reporting on corporate real estate (CRE) executives’ priorities, strategies and outlook. Conscious of the risk that continuing change in the economy, labor markets and technology and poses, CRE decision-makers are “future proofing” by improving user experiences and prioritizing agility in their space use.
With a number of states and localities having legalized (or taken steps toward legalizing) recreational marijuana in the past few years, some are looking to Denver to gauge how the industry might affect their local industrial fundamentals. In a new report, we offer a roadmap to identifying opportunity in the market, based on observations of industry dynamics in Denver.
U.S. employers added 138,000 jobs in May—well below the consensus forecast of 185,000 jobs. March and April figures were revised downward by 66,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%—its lowest level since 2001—but the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7%.
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Richard Barkham, CBRE’s Global Chief Economist, to Boston as he takes on an additional role as EA’s new Chairman. From his London office and in his travels throughout the world, Richard has been frequently immersed in the global trends that are transforming the dynamics of local real estate markets. Richard’s perspective and presence will serve EA and its clients well, as we continue to build our platform and to integrate EA’s data science expertise with the global work of CBRE Research.
After a lull in March, employment growth rebounded in April. The rolling three-month average was virtually unchanged at 174,000 jobs per month and the average for the past 12 months is 186,000—so employers have not materially changed their hiring patterns. Notwithstanding the change in business and consumer sentiment since Donald Trump’s election, economic data in 2017 remain very similar to those at the end of the Obama administration.
U.S. employers added 98,000 jobs in March—well short of the consensus expectation for 180,000. Seasonal weather factors are partially to blame: Mild winter weather in January and February boosted job growth well above 200,000, and late-season snowstorms contributed to the poor number in March. All told, it was a solid first quarter...
In maintaining a historical time series of real estate stock, the industry standard approach is to calculate past quarters' stock levels by subtracting buildings from the current level according to their ages. This method doesn't account for buildings that were demolished, however, so the standard measure of historical stock is, by definition, an underestimation. To see if we can address this, we are developing a “gross” stock series that adds back...
Most FOMC members agree that rates will need to head higher in the next few years, but how quickly is a source of great debate. Don't be surprised to see even greater indecision as uncertainty rises later in the cycle.
CBRE's recent survey shows economic uncertainty looming larger among CRE executives' concerns, second only to talent management. Half ranked economic uncertainty a top-three concern, up from last year's one third.
With weakness in most segments, February retail sales disappointed. Delayed tax refunds and immigration policy may have contributed to the weak retail sales—the latter a particular source of concern for retailers in markets with large immigrant populations. Policy on immigration and the economy may represent the greatest risk to retail markets over the coming quarters.
The prospect for suburban living has just gotten a lot brighter. Suburban houses will not only be able to generate the energy they need internally, but also fuel their cars—and all with absolutely no CO2 emissions.
Upward pressure on cap rates is expected, muted by strong capital flows from foreign and domestic institutional investors. CRE fundamentals remain strong overall, and improved business and consumer confidence may lead to enhanced late-cycle tenant demand.
CBRE has a lot of proprietary data sitting in data "puddles." Big data is creating a data "lake" from those puddles by linking data feeds, and then using the power of machine learning to derive insights for our clients. Our just-introduced Live, Work, Play (LWP) Index is an example of a big data exercise in CRE.
February’s jobs report was strong, with excellent headline numbers, good wage growth and rising labor force participation. Nothing in this report should give the Fed pause about raising rates next week.
With the new administration at the reins and macroeconomic indicators sending mixed signals, investors are wondering what the future promises for the direction of the U.S. economy commercial real estate. This seems to be certain in investors’ minds: interest rates are likely to increase—at least in the medium term, if not in the long run. What would such increases imply for CRE, and particularly for CRE values?
Every economic recession has its unique origins, but it can also usually be characterized by the macroeconomic scenario that sparked it. The three scenarios that typically cause recessions have unique impacts on individual markets and property types and are the key to understanding how your portfolio will weather recessions to come.
New York City drives a lot of trends, including our calculation of rent growth for the Sum of Markets. Year-over-year effective rent growth was 0.2% in Q4; though it's meant to represent the national trend, for most of us, that figure doesn’t exactly fit our experience. So, how did we arrive at 0.2%?
An update on EA's U.S. macroeconomic outlook: Even if Trump is able to enact his economic policies as planned, the stimulus will be slugging against a mature economy. Higher interest rates, the strong dollar, and a tight labor market are enough reason to believe that the natural business cycle is on the downslope. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence that fiscal policy is less effective when the economy is at full capacity, so that will work against any stimulus as well...
There's no reason for the Fed to be vocal at this point, and 2017's first FOMC meeting saw no policy changes made. The Fed is keenly aware of the heightened degree of fiscal uncertainty and clearly has not bought into the notion—already accepted by many economic forecasters—that fiscal stimulus will launch the economy into higher gear. EA's baseline outlook remains tempered as well, at least until we see where the new administration is heading.
Location, Location, Location—it’s been the mantra of real estate since the phrase first appeared in a Chicago Tribune property ad in 1926. CBRE Econometric Advisors is currently developing a Live-Work-Play Index that classifies locations based on objective analysis rather than subjective bias.
Automation is suddenly making headlines in business and finance news reporting. In a recent ViewPoint, I address the broad issue of automation permanently displacing certain types of workers, and what implications that might hold for CRE.
Whether it’s a year or eight years away, investors are wondering what the next recession will mean for CRE performance: Will certain markets or asset types be more immune to its negative effects than others? How will markets differ in their speed to recovery?
In a recent study, we examined the effects of a major 2008-type recession on rents and vacancy in the 10 largest U.S. office markets, finding major response differences.
Since the global financial crisis, we have seen numerous studies of fiscal policy, and of the so-called fiscal multiplier, which measures the response of economic variables to a one-time increase in government spending. Since the November election, there has been much talk about such spending—specifically, on infrastructure. Given recent research, however, this infrastructure spending may not be particularly stimulative.
Today's December employment report had a relatively low headline number, but also a lot of positive data behind it. Revisions to October and November jobs numbers showed a net gain of 19,000 jobs, though the three-month rolling average fell to 165,000, a drop of 11,000 from last month.
Welcome to your new CBRE EA web portal, created to improve your experience in accessing CBRE EA’s data warehouse, tools and analysis. It features streamlined navigation, an improved design, and this new blog, Deconstructing CRE, which will be a source of ongoing discussion and thought leadership regarding topics relevant to the CRE community. As the portal will continue to evolve, we look forward to and appreciate your feedback.
Concern about a slowdown in consumer spending can go on the back burner, thanks to recently revised data from the BEA. The latest release shows significantly better Q3 personal consumption growth (2.8%) that was initially estimated (2.1%).