Absorption rate is a crucial metric in the commercial real estate industry, measuring the pace at which available space in a particular market or asset type is leased or sold. It serves as a key indicator of market dynamics and demand-supply equilibrium. This article provides an overview of the average absorption rates across different asset types in the United States, followed by supplemental information to enhance your understanding of this important real estate metric.

Average Absorption Rate in Commercial Real Estate for All Asset Types Nationwide

Office Space:

  • Average Absorption Rate: 8.7%
  • Office spaces include various types such as Class A, Class B, and shared/flexible workspaces.
  • The absorption rate reflects the rate at which office spaces are being leased or occupied.

    Retail Space

    • Average Absorption Rate: 6.2%
    • Retail spaces encompass shopping centers, malls, standalone stores, and mixed-use developments.
    • The absorption rate indicates the rate at which retail spaces are being leased or sold.

    Industrial Space

    • Average Absorption Rate: 9.1%
    • Industrial spaces comprise warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and logistics properties.
    • The absorption rate shows the rate at which industrial spaces are being leased or occupied.

    Multifamily Properties

    • Average Absorption Rate: 5.8%
    • Multifamily properties include apartment buildings, condominiums, and other residential complexes.
    • The absorption rate denotes the rate at which rental or sale units in multifamily properties are being occupied.
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    Hotel and Hospitality Sector

    • Average Absorption Rate: 4.3%
    • Hotels and hospitality properties encompass full-service hotels, resorts, limited-service hotels, and extended-stay accommodations.
    • The absorption rate reflects the rate at which hotel rooms and hospitality spaces are being booked or occupied.

    Average Absorption Rate by Asset Type

    Asset TypeAbsorption Rate (%)
    Office Space8.7
    Retail Space6.2
    Industrial Space9.1
    Multifamily5.8
    Hotel/Hospitality4.3

    Supplemental Information

    Factors Influencing Absorption Rate:

    • Economic conditions: Absorption rates tend to be higher during periods of economic growth and expansion.
    • Supply and demand dynamics: The rate depends on the balance between available space and tenant or buyer demand.
    • Market competitiveness: Competitive markets with attractive amenities may have higher absorption rates.
    • Location and accessibility: Proximity to transportation hubs, urban centers, and desirable neighborhoods can impact absorption rates.
    • Rent and pricing trends: Affordability and market pricing affect the speed at which space is absorbed.

    Importance of Absorption Rate:

    • Investment decisions: Absorption rates help investors gauge market conditions and make informed decisions about purchasing or selling commercial real estate assets.
    • Rental and pricing strategies: Landlords and developers use absorption rates to determine competitive rental rates and pricing strategies.
    • Market analysis: Absorption rates provide insights into market trends, demand patterns, and potential risks.

    Regional Variation:

    • Absorption rates can vary significantly between different regions, cities, and even neighborhoods within a city.
    • Factors such as local economy, industry specialization, and population growth influence regional absorption rates.
    • It is important to analyze absorption rates at the local level to gain a more accurate understanding of market dynamics.
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    Conclusion

    Absorption rate is a critical metric in commercial real estate that helps assess the speed at which available space is absorbed across various asset types. By understanding the average absorption rates and related factors, investors, developers, and market participants can make informed decisions and develop effective strategies in the dynamic landscape of commercial real estate.

    About the author 

    Eric Lee

    Eric, Co-Founder of REIInsiders, brings extensive real estate investing expertise and a finance background to drive growth and oversee marketing and business development efforts.

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