Commercial vacancy rates declining, rent rates are increasing

Commercial vacancy rates are decliningVacancies are predicted to lower in the office sector, industrial real estate, retail and multifamily rentals over the course of the next year, and rent is forecast to go up 3.4 percent this year.

The expected vacancy rate for commercial real estate in 2011 is believed to decline from 16.5 percent to 16.0 percent for the office sector; from 14.2 to 12.9 percent for industrial real estate; 13.0 percent to 12.9 percent for retail and from 5.8 percent to 4.9 percent for multifamily rentals, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors (http://www NULL.realtor NULL.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/02/commercial_rates).

This is encouraging news for potential Houston real estate investors, and the fact that rent is predicted to rise, is positive news for the next year.

"Rising apartment rent in combination with rising oil prices could push the overall inflation rate beyond a comfort level, which could then force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year or early in 2012," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

Houston real estate buyers will have to keep a close watch on the market, as these projections will have a big impact on decision making over the next 12 months.

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