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Radius Insight: Q3 2018 Market Report

November 13, 2018

More than 400 business owners, investors, landlords, tenants and community leaders registered for the annual economic and commercial real estate forecast presented by Radius Commercial Real Estate. This year’s event, held Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, follows the hotly contested midterm elections and featured unique insights and takeaways from renowned economist Christopher Thornberg, Ph.D., Beacon Economics, an international consulting firm based in Los Angeles.

Dr. Thornberg, widely regarded as one of the earliest and most vocal predictors of the sub-prime mortgage market collapse in 2007 and the global economic recession that ensued, presented a spirited take on the U.S. and California economic climate including a no-holds assessment of the risks facing our economy.

The program also featured local commercial real estate experts from Radius delivering market updates and forecasts for the greater South Coast area, including a breakdown of local commercial real estate sectors.

The annual event is co-sponsored by Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy, LLP; Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf, LLP; American Riviera Bank; HUB International Insurance Services; Meridian Group Real Estate Management; and Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

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Balancing the Market? Third Quarter sees second straight year of declining sales activity since 2016; rise in owner-user versus investor purchases.

With 2018’s 3rd Quarter coming to a close, we can confirm that market activity year-to-date is continuing to decline since the peak in 2016. In comparison to last year’s 3rd Quarter total of 25 commercial sales amounting to $85,387,500 in sales volume, this year’s 3rd Quarter came in at 22 commercial sales with total sales volume of $64,328,520, not including the outlier sale of the Hyatt Centric Hotel located at 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd., which traded in July for $87,500,000. Large hospitality sales typically tip the scales, so subtracting that sale reduces 3rd Quarter volume to roughly $21 million below Q3 2017…

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South Coast Leasing Summary

We’ve seen very little change in Santa Barbara’s office leasing market since early 2017, with the vacancy rate fluctuating between 5.8% (Q2 2017) and 6.6% (Q2 2018). The 3rd Quarter ended with vacancy at 6.1%. Average gross asking and achieved rates also remained relatively steady over the past six quarters, with asking rates between $3.03/SF and $3.17/SF (currently $3.10/SF), and achieved rates coming in lower, ranging between $2.68/SF and $2.88/SF (currently $2.77/SF)…

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