There are many mixed signals in the commercial real estate market in the Boise - Nampa - Caldwell market area. Inquiries on listed properties are down, but completed transactions are steady to rising and inquiries and transactions in areas outside of Boise are up.

Months ago, a client told me that another commercial agent told him their calls had fallen off by about 80% from previous activity levels.  At the time, inquiries on our listings had not changed and the level of activity we were experiencing did not change until recently.  In late April, there was  a noticable change in property inquiries.

However, my partner and I were going over transactions and determined a couple of things.  Our net level of inquiries was falling overall, but shifting up in surrounding areas.  We were experiencing less inquiries about commercial properties in the Boise - Garden City - Meridian area.  However transactions completed was steady in thos sub-markets.  That seems to be saying that the people / companies making inquiries into available properties were valid inquries and the "Looky-Lous" had diminished.

The second noticable change was in the number of inquiries in the Nampa - Caldwell area were significantly up and the number of transactions in progress (e.g.; letters of intent or draft leases under review) were significantly up.  To us, that seems to indicate a looseining up from the very noticable move that occurred about a year ago when inquires on properties in outlying areas significantly dropped off.

I've been to several meetings with other commercial real estate agents at CCIM and other meetings and in everyone of them there has been acknowledgement from that peer group that the transactions are getting much more difficult to get done.  I'd say, based on our experience, that's a fair statement, but the transactions are still going on with strenght in some markets, weakness in others, with a net overall neutral change.

Hope all of you are doing well!

Posted by Scott Nicholson at 5/26/2008 6:03:00 PM
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Comments (2)
Re:Mixed Signals
National Stats:
Retailers are showing increasing reluctance to sign new leases given the uncertainty, as indicated by a decline of 1.2 million square feet in net absorption of vacant space during the quarter, the first negative quarter for absorption since the beginning of 2003. In contrast, retailers gobbled up 8.6 million square feet in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The office segment, too, is feeling the pinch. Demand has slowed markedly, with net absorption for the first quarter at a negative 1.7 million square feet, meaning there was more space coming on the market than there were takers for the first time since the second quarter of 2003.

...I know I know..."It's different here (R)"

Boise trailed the nation on residential, it will trail on commercial.

Full disclosure, this writer was shorter than a circus midget on Financials last year and now on commercial REITs.

We are in a ressesion, it will be ugly, builders have over built, banks are over-leveraged and Americans are broke.

Good luck builders, please have a savings account
Posted by on 5/28/2008 12:56 AM
Re:Mixed Signals
There are signs of stress in the Treasure Valley, no doubt. There is no need to take extreme postions; it is what it is. We're in a typical real etate cycle with a twist.

What we found worth mentioning is that a) the core business segments are still just doing their deals, b) the dreamers seem to be sitting out for the moment, & c) deals in non-core commercial areas are on the up-tick.

About 1 year ago we saw a very dramatic shift from searches in non-core areas. While we still see little to no activity in Star & Middleton, we are seeing an uptick in Caldwell. Its hard to draw too many conclusions based on short-term observations, we'll see if the trends continue.

In the meantime.... invest wisely.
Posted by Scott Nicholson on 5/28/2008 6:33 AM
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Michelle Penick, Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent

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