Perhaps not surprisingly, sales during the first quarter of 2018 got off to a markedly slower start versus Q1 2017. Altogether the first quarter compiled 14 sales of commercial property totaling approximately $53 Million in volume, not too far off the prior 15-year average of 18.7 sales per quarter but significantly fewer than Q1 2017’s 30 sales and Q1 2016’s 24 sales. In fact, Q1 2018 has been the weakest first quarter since 2013. So what is causing the slow start to the year?
As expected, Santa Barbara’s office vacancy rate dropped slightly from 6.7% in Q4 2017 to 5.9% in the first quarter of 2018. Average gross achieved rates ticked up from $2.69/SF to $2.93/SF while average gross asking rates remain nearly unchanged at $3.04/SF.
Just as the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslides may have impacted the South Coast commercial sales sector, the Multifamily sector also slowed during the first part of 2018, but resilient Santa Barbara is on the mend.
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