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Regional Summaries

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St. Louis

Apartment
The 121,000-unit St. Louis apartment market was balanced in 2015, with a slight decrease in vacancy and solid rent gains. With 490 units of new supply and 778 units of net absorption in 2015, the vacancy rate fell 20 basis points over the year to 4.2%. The rate was unchanged in the fourth quarter and was also 4.2% in January 2016. In 2015, the average asking rent increased 2.8% to $815 per month with the average effective rent up 2.9% to $776 per month. The fourth quarter increase was 0.7% by both measures. Rents increased 0.3% by both measures in January.
Industrial
The 135.1-million-square-foot St. Louis warehouse/distribution market was active in 2015, with 1.2 million square feet of new supply, all in the first half of the year, and 1.5 million square feet of net absorption. The vacancy rate fell 30 basis points over the year to 12.3% and was down 20 basis points in the fourth quarter. The average asking rent was up 1.3% over the year to $3.88 psf, with the average effective rent up 1.4% to $3.59 psf. The fourth quarter gains were 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively. Meanwhile, 2016 got off to a strong start with 165,000 square feet of net absorption in January, reducing the vacancy rate to 12.1%. The average effective rent increased 0.3% that month. The 11.6-million-square-foot Flex/R&D market remained weak in 2015, with a net absorption total of negative 51,000 square feet for the year despite plus 44,000 in the fourth quarter. The 14.6% vacancy rate for the quarter was up 40 basis points over the year. The average asking rent increased 0.8% in 2015 to $7.20 psf, with the average effective rent up 0.9% to $6.66 psf. The fourth quarter gains were 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. There was little change in conditions for January 2016, but a better year with positive demand is forecast.
Office
The 45.35-million-square-foot general purpose, multi-tenant St. Louis office market made some progress in 2015. With 458,000 square feet of net absorption and no new supply, the vacancy rate fell 100 basis points over the year and 30 during the fourth quarter to 16.7%. The January 2016 rate was 16.6%. In 2015, both the average asking rent and the average effective rent increased 1.7% to $21.18 psf and $16.21 psf, respectively. The fourth quarter gain was 0.9% by both measures and was followed by a penny increase for each in January.
Retail
The 28.6-million-square-foot St. Louis community-neighborhood shopping center market finished 2015 with a fourth quarter surge. The 236,000 square feet of net absorption for the quarter put the market in the black for the year, and the vacancy rate fell 80 basis points for the quarter and 60 over the year. The average asking rent increased 1.1% last year to $15.13 psf, with the average effective rent up 1.3% to $12.48 psf. The fourth quarter increases of 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively, were the largest of the year. The community-neighborhood center market was mixed in January, with the vacancy rate falling 10 basis points but rents down 0.2% by both measures.

Source: Data provided by Reis, inc.

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