California Commercial Real Estate Survey Sees Surge in Developer Optimism

Development Activity Expected to Accelerate in Most Markets


LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30, 2014 – The latest Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson Forecast Commercial Real Estate Survey signals continued optimism among developers – a slight increase in confidence across commercial real estate submarkets since the survey was last conducted in June 2013. The biannual survey projects a three-year-ahead outlook for the state’s commercial real estate industry and forecasts potential opportunities and challenges affecting office, industrial and multi-family sectors.

The November 2013 results show a positive outlook across all markets for the first time since the Survey’s inception in 2007. Clear economic improvement is generating new opportunities for profitable investment in office and industrial space across the state. According to surveyed industry leaders, developers in all areas (with the exception of the Bay Area’s industrial markets) expect to accelerate development activity, tightening the commercial real estate supply.

The increased optimism in many sectors can be tied to job growth in California, especially along the coast, where jobs are being generated at a rate faster than the national average. The current expansion of employment is expected to continue into 2016.

Office Development Sentiment Positive With Southern California in Spotlight
Sentiment in the office space market remains highest in Southern California, likely due to the increased rate of job growth in the region and a tightening of office space supply. Indeed, 70 percent of those surveyed in Southern California indicated that they would start one or more projects within the next 12 months.

In the Bay Area the survey revealed renewed optimism regarding both office rental and occupancy rates through 2016. Fifty-two percent of The Bay Area Panel indicated they would begin one or more new projects in the coming year. This comes on the heels of many new Bay Area projects already under construction, and is indicative of a return to healthy office construction in the region.

Industrial Sector Experiencing Increased Demand
There is also a strong outlook in the industrial markets for manufacturing and warehousing facilities that support California manufacturing, exports to Asia and Mexico, and consumer goods imported from Asia. With the emergence of the Eurozone and Japan from their recessions and the economic growth in China, there is an increased volume of trade though Southern California ports in particular, which may create an increased demand for warehouse space.

Multi-family Sector Remains Robust
Prospects for returns on multi-family housing investments in San Francisco and Silicon Valley during the coming three years look promising. All surveyed panelists in those markets, where occupancy rates are above 97 percent and rental rates are among the highest in the nation, indicated that they would begin projects within the next 12 months. About 65 percent of those surveyed in Los Angeles, where occupancy and rental rates are similar to those in Northern California, could begin new developments in the coming year. Though construction permits for multi-family units have been rising significantly through November 2013 (the survey date) with an increase of 19.6 percent in Los Angeles, a 18.2 percent rise in San Francisco and an uptick of 44.2 percent in San Jose, there may not be enough multi-family housing in late 2016 to affect the rise in rental and occupancy rates.

The Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson Forecast California Commercial Real Estate Survey and Index Research Project polled a panel of California real estate professionals in the development and investment markets, on various aspects of the commercial real estate market. The survey is designed to capture incipient activity by commercial real estate developers. To achieve this goal, the panel looks at the markets three years in the future, and building conditions over the three-year period. The survey was initiated by Allen Matkins and the UCLA Anderson Forecast in 2006, furtherance of their interest in improving the quality of current information and forecasts of commercial real estate.

About Allen Matkins
Allen Matkins, founded in 1977, is a California-based law firm with more than 200 attorneys in four major metropolitan areas of California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. The firm’s core specialties include real estate, real estate and commercial finance, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction, land use, natural resources, environmental, corporate and securities, intellectual property, joint ventures, taxation, employment and labor law, and dispute resolution and litigation in all these matters. For more than 35 years, Allen Matkins has helped clients turn opportunity and challenge into success by providing practical advice, innovative solutions and valuable business opportunities. When clients’ challenges require experienced trial counsel, Allen Matkins has a proven track record of successful litigation before juries, judges and arbitrators. Allen Matkins is located on the Web at
About UCLA Anderson Forecast

UCLA Anderson Forecast is one of the most widely watched and often-cited economic outlooks for California and the nation and was unique in predicting both the seriousness of the early-1990s downturn in California and the strength of the state’s rebound since 1993. More recently, the Forecast was credited as the first major U.S. economic forecasting group to declare the recession of 2001. Visit UCLA Anderson Forecast on the Web at

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world, with faculty members globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Located in Los Angeles, gateway to the growing economies of Latin America and Asia and a city that personifies innovation in a diverse range of endeavors, UCLA Anderson’s MBA, Fully-Employed MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Global Executive MBA for the Americas, Master of Financial Engineering, doctoral and executive education programs embody the school’s Think In The Next ethos. Annually, some 1,800 students are trained to be global leaders seeking the business models and community solutions of tomorrow.

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