Austin TX Office Market | Q42016

Austin office properties for leaseAustin Office Market for Q4 2016

Here is an overview of the Austin Texas office market ending for 2016.  Austin’s office market maintained itself with a consistent performance for all of 2016.  Growth and expansion continue moving into 2017. Lease rates for the Austin office market hit an all time high at almost $35.00 per square foot. New construction of perhaps the tallest building in Austin have been discussed which will cover almost 2M square feet of space  Class A office spaces hit a new high as well with a $0.55 cent increase compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016.

Increasing Expenses for the Austin Office Market

Landlords for 2016 pushed leasing rates higher along with higher expenses , which play an important stimulus on the rising lease rates. Class A lease rates moved up $0.55 cents tp $38.85 per square foot.  Occupancy continued a positive move with Downtown Austin, Northwest Austin and the Southwest Austin sub-markets along with more development in each sub-market.

Vacancy for Office Properties

Year over year vacancy moved downward in 2016. Overall vacancy came in at just under 12% down from close to 15% in 2015. The near term forecast for office space is for continued demand.  Also the sub-markets mentioned in the above paragraph are still the hottest sub-markets for demand and look like they will continue. There are currently 21 office development projects on the ground in Austin which equates to over 2M square feet , there is optimism about the future and influx of a growing population.


Austin Office Market | Q3 2016

Austin Office Market Update for Q3 2016

Here’s the latest on the Austin office market for Q3 2016, looks like more of the same folks. New records are being set with supply and demand at opposite ends of the spectrum. Lower vacancies overall and higher rents are forecasted for the balance of this year.  Vacancy rates are not in the single digits for Austin area wide.  The 2 largest tenant leases were tech companies expanding their current occupancy. One of the major tech companies coming to Austin is Oracle with a 25 acre, 560,000SF campus with the Austin office market. Citywide lease rates are now at $34.00 per sf which is a new all-time high for the area. Lowest vacancies remain in Downtown Austin, Round Rock and Northwest Austin.

Population Growth Austin office market Q2 2016

Forecasts for Austin’s population growth are expected to double to 4M people by 2040. The Austin office market will be tied to the residential and job growth over the next 25 years.  23 Quarters of consecutive growth has now hit the office market in the area with the Northwest area of Austin being the most popular area for office occupancy. There are currently 21 office projects under construction across 7 different sub-markets equating to approx 2 M square feet of space.  The city still faces major challenges in infrastructure with transportation issues.

Master Lease

Master Lease

Making money and profits in commercial real estate require an investor or owner to control a property. The most common way of course is ownership. Some investors though do purchase the property at least not right away. Instead they can choose to master lease the property. Example: Let’s say you are looking at a multifamily property that needs quite a bit of upgrading.  The investor could offer to purchase the property , but perhaps you do not have the ability to acquire the financing and maybe the owner does not want to sell the property using a land contract or a mortgage deal.

SolutionCap rates for commercial property

Continuing with the property example, this property let’s say is not cash flowing to pay expenses , property taxes, and mortgage payments. The current owner wants to turn this money losing property into a profitable property but they don’t want to spend the time and effort it will take to bring the property up to speed. The investor offers a master lease on the entire building and then guarantees the owner a steady income with no hassles. In return as the investor you retain the right to upgrade the property and the property management so you can increase the NOI. Generally master leases give the lessee terms of 5-15 years, with an option to purchase at an agreed upon sales price down the road. During the period of the master lease, the investor would pocket the delta between what you pay to operate the property to include lease payments to the owner and the lease payments collected from tenants. This becomes a profitable venture if you upgrade the property and increase the NOI as discussed above. Obviously your goal is to collect higher rents than what you are paying to the owner of the property.

Austin Office Market |Q2 2016

Austin Office Market | Q2 2016

Austin’s office market has been up on the upswing since 2012. However,  Austin’s office market is now experiencing negative occupancy. The actual figures are approx -24,000SF of negative occupancy in Q2 2016.  Lease rates have had small changes for the most part in low vacancy sub-markets such as Downtown Austin.

Here is a quick review,  lease rates for offices in Austin did not move much , only up +.9% to $34.65 psf per yr. The largest move was in Class A office space in the downtown area are coming in at an increase at approximately 2.7% to a whopping $47.31 psf per yr. Suburban Class A office lease rates only moved up on average $0.03 cents per sf per yr to $35.74 psf per year.  Current vacancy is coming in overall at 12% which is up from the last quarter by 1% point.

Indicators for Q2 2016

Indicators are as follows:

Vacancy down, Occupancy down, New Construction down , Under Construction down

Offices for Sale Overview Q2 2016

The current trend for Austin offices for sale is showing an increase in sales asking prices of 8% , compared to last years asking prices there is a +31% increase in asking prices, coming in at averages of $237 per square foot.Austin office market Q2 2016

Capital Reserves

New Accounting Rules- Shorter Term Leases?

Banking institutions, financial service firms and other enterprises may have to take on new leasing negotiations. New rules regarding capital reserves against liabilities are going to be in place.  A Landlord -Owner can expect some of these types of organizations to negotiate leases with shorter terms and maybe fewer renewal options. This can provide some uncertainty for owners as to how they are going to manage assets with shorter lease terms for tenants.

Capital reserves must increase by 5% on a balance sheet. If a firms lease obligations total 50 million annually, then their  capital reserves would increase by 5 percent, or $2.5 million, to cover the liability. To minimize tenant turnover, the landlord will need to think more strategically regarding improvements and amenities to the property to retain tenancy.

 Example: Capital reserves to be required

A financial institution that has a 3 yr term lease in place with $1M in rent and $3M of liabilities, they would be required to have at 2X the liabilities $6M in capital reserves.

Negotiations on Office Lease OptionsAustin office expenses

Building owners will experience accounting changes regarding lease extension options.  This will require the existing tenant to review those options more carefully. If a lease offers  a tenant a better deal or discounted lease rate with a  lease extension at the end of the term, the “economic incentive” could impact how the lease is classified beginning on Day One.

If a tenant signs a 10-year lease with two five-year renewal options that carry an incentive, such as a 95 percent of market rental rate during the extension period. Even though the lease is technically a 10-year lease, it could be viewed as a 20-year lease for businesses’ accounting purposes if it there is a “good chance ” that the options will be exercised.

Within the new regulations, corporate real estate users will have to determine whether their office leases qualify for the finance or operating lease accounting treatment. This will require their assets and liabilities to appear on their balance sheets. Tenants may need additional time for lease negotiations because they have to bring additional people into the process.  An owner can expect possible delays so are advised to start the lease negotiation process as early as possible.

Austin Texas Office Market 2016

Austin Texas Office Market 2016

The following is an overview heading into the 2nd quarter or 2016 for the Austin Texas office market. Overall it looks like Class A spaces are getting bit of correction on lease rates although it is not significant rates have come down approximately $1.00 per sf per yr. Whereas, the Class B office spaces in Austin are having lease rate increases. The reason for this could be the demand for Class B office spaces was a bit higher in Q1 due to tenants wanting a more affordable alternative as opposed to the higher priced Class A office properties in the Austin Texas office market.

There are currently 208 Class A office properties, 407 Class B office properties and 78 Class C office properties in Austin Texas.Austin Office

Austin Texas Sublease Market for Office Space

The current sublease market vacancy rate is coming in at around 1%, with this type of picture it bodes well for Landlords and shows consolidation and difficulties fulfilling lease obligations have gone down dramatically.  Currently there is about 418,000SF of sublease space available in the Austin Texas office market after the first quarter of 2016. There are still value offices available, however the closer you get to downtown Austin the tighter the office market gets as well as North Austin coming in at below 5% vacancy rates.