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Fairfield County

Apartment
After reaching an unprecedented peak of 7.6% at the end of 2015, the vacancy rate in the 38,200-unit Fairfield County apartment market fell to just 5.6% at the end of 2017. The decrease was 190 basis points in 2017 alone. The reason is the end of a development boom that peaked at 2,099 units added in 2015, followed by 1,159 in 2016 and just half that in 2017. The average asking rent increased 1.7% over the year to $2,109 per month, but the average effective rent increased just 0.2% to $2,012 per month. The fourth quarter gains were 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively. Occupancy was flat in January 2018, with the average asking rent up 0.4% but the average effective rent down 0.3%.
Office
The 40.9-million-square-foot general purpose, multi-tenant Fairfield County office market had another year of negative net absorption in 2017 at minus 591,000 square feet including minus 132,000 in the fourth quarter. The January 2018 net absorption total is minus 10,000. The year-end 2017 vacancy rate is 23.5%, up 110 basis points over the year and up 30 in the fourth quarter. The January 2018 rate is 23.5% as well. Rents keep edging up despite high vacancy, implying that some properties are just out of the game. During 2017, the average asking rent was up 0.6% to $35.94 psf, with the average effective rent up 0.5% to $30.03 psf, despite fourth quarter decreases of 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Overall rents edged up a penny or two in January 2018.
Retail
The small 8.8-million-square-foot Fairfield County community-neighborhood shopping center market tightened in 2017 despite 30,000 square feet of new supply and 20,000 square feet of negative net absorption. During the fourth quarter, net absorption totaled minus 53,000 square feet, but the inventory shrank by 111,000. The fourth quarter vacancy rate was 5.5%, down 60 basis points for the period and over the year. The average asking rent was $29.99 psf at year-end, and the average effective rent was $27.21 psf. Rents were up 0.4% by both measures over the year but down 0.8% by both measures during the fourth quarter. Net absorption was slightly negative, and rents slipped a penny by both measures, in January 2018.

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Source: Data provided by Reis, inc.

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