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The year started off on a high note in the Southern NJ & Philly CRE markets, then COVID-19 creat


Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its analysis of the first quarter of 2020 that the Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania markets continued their years-long strong performance at the outset of the new decade. But by March it was clear that, just as every other area of life would be disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the CRE market would not be immune. The quarterly performance still showed positive news, but the effects of the crisis began taking hold during the last weeks of Q1, so the true impact hadn’t become fully apparent. Vacancy rates across every property type remain low, and, while rent increases have cooled somewhat, growth remained positive for the quarter. Even before the pandemic struck many feared there were signs that the decade-long expansion was nearing its end. But even as growth slowed down, the economy appeared to be moving forward at a fairly solid pace before the crisis.“Initially the assumption was that the worst of the coronavirus outbreak would directly impact the regions in Asia where it first was identified, and that the impact to the U.S. would come in the form of disruption of supply chains and slower economic growth abroad,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE.“While those shocks have happened, the rapid spread of the virus within the US and around the world has impacted the global economy, and those effects are still becoming apparent throughout our local and regional CRE markets.”There were approximately 374,429 s/f of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which was up more than 80% over the previous quarter. The sales market stayed active, with about 1.02 million s/f on the market or under agreement. Completed sales were up about ten percent over the previous quarter, at approximately 866,444 s/f trading hands.New leasing activity accounted for approximately 47% of all deals for the three counties surveyed. READ MORE

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