The vacancy rate is a crucial metric in the commercial real estate industry that provides insights into the health and performance of various asset types. It represents the percentage of available units or space that are unoccupied or not generating rental income. In this article, we will delve into the average vacancy rates for different commercial real estate asset types nationwide. Additionally, we will provide supplemental information to further enhance your understanding of this topic.

Office Space:

  • Average Vacancy Rate: 12% Office spaces encompass a wide range of properties, including high-rise buildings, business parks, and individual office suites. The average vacancy rate for office spaces across the nation is approximately 12%. This figure can vary significantly depending on location, market conditions, and economic factors.

Retail Properties:

  • Average Vacancy Rate: 10% Retail properties include shopping centers, malls, standalone stores, and other commercial spaces where goods and services are sold to consumers. The average vacancy rate for retail properties stands at around 10%. This rate may fluctuate due to factors such as consumer spending habits, competition, and shifts in the retail landscape, including the rise of e-commerce.

Industrial Warehouses:

  • Average Vacancy Rate: 8% Industrial warehouses play a crucial role in the storage, distribution, and logistics of goods. These properties range from small storage facilities to large distribution centers. The average vacancy rate for industrial warehouses nationwide is approximately 8%. The demand for these properties is influenced by factors such as supply chain dynamics, e-commerce growth, and industrial market conditions.
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Multifamily Residential:

  • Average Vacancy Rate: 6% Multifamily residential properties encompass apartment complexes, condominiums, and other rental units that cater to residential tenants. The average vacancy rate for multifamily properties is around 6%. This figure is subject to local market conditions, demographic factors, and rental demand. Economic factors, such as job growth and population trends, also impact the vacancy rates in this asset class.

Table: Average Vacancy Rates by Asset Type

Asset TypeVacancy Rate
Office Space12%
Retail Properties10%
Industrial Warehouses8%
Multifamily Residential6%

Supplemental Information

Factors Affecting Vacancy Rates:

Several factors influence vacancy rates in commercial real estate. These include economic conditions, population growth, local market dynamics, industry-specific trends, and competition within the asset class. It’s important for investors, developers, and landlords to closely monitor these factors to make informed decisions.

Regional Disparities:

While the aforementioned average vacancy rates provide a nationwide perspective, it is essential to note that regional disparities exist. Certain cities or regions may experience higher or lower vacancy rates depending on localized market conditions, industry concentrations, and economic growth patterns. It is advisable to conduct thorough research on specific markets of interest.

Impact on Rental Income:

Vacancy rates directly impact rental income for property owners and landlords. A higher vacancy rate can lead to decreased cash flow and profitability, while a lower vacancy rate indicates a higher demand for the property and potentially higher rental rates. Property owners should strive to find the optimal balance between rental income and tenant retention.


Understanding average vacancy rates for various commercial real estate asset types is crucial for investors, developers, and professionals in the industry. By keeping an eye on these rates and monitoring market conditions, stakeholders can make informed decisions regarding investments, leasing strategies, and property management. Remember to consider the supplemental information provided and conduct thorough research on specific markets to gain a comprehensive understanding of vacancy rates in commercial real estate.

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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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