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Occupancy is at 94.1% as of mid-May 2020, down 50 basis points from this time last year.
Market fundamentals. Occupancy is at 94.1% as of mid-May 2020, down 50 basis points from this time last year. Of the 3.0 million sq. ft. currently under construction, the availability rate stands at 36%. The Houston retail market has recorded 1.9 million sq. ft. of leasing activity—which is comprised of both new leases and renewals— down 17% from one year ago. In addition, the net amount of square feet absorbed (move-ins minus move-outs) stands at 796,000 sq. ft., with new supply delivering 1.8 million sq. ft. to the market this year, of which 73% is occupied. The average asking rate of renting retail space in Houston is at $17.99 per sq. ft. on a triple net basis, down slightly compared to this time in 2019 at $18.06 per sq. ft.
Second phase of reopening. After two months of closures, bars and most other businesses will be allowed to reopen with restrictions and limited capacity in Houston. The easing of bar restrictions will be welcome news for thousands of those unemployed and struggling to survive after 56 days of closures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The state has lost an estimated $42 million in revenue from liquor sales during the past two months, according to the Texas Restaurant Association.
Listing views on HAR.com up almost 60%. The Houston real estate market’s strong start to the new year was abruptly interrupted in April as the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak was felt. Prior to April, home sales had been outpacing 2019’s record volume as consumers took advantage of historically low interest rates. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, single-family homes sold in April 2020 compared to April 2019, represented a 19.1% decline and ended a nine-month run of positive sales. Despite the slowdown in April, year-to-date sales are still running 1.4% ahead of last year’s level. Figures are likely to remain low as more real estate agents and consumers adapt to the use of virtual technology to safely market and tour homes.
Director of Research
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