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New Lehigh Valley Real Estate Report Focuses on Office, Industrial, Flex Markets

By Colin McEvoy on December 22, 2015

Sample pages from the newest issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report. The full report can be downloaded here.

Sample pages from the newest issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report. The full report can be downloaded here.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has released the newest issue of its quarterly report detailing the real estate climate of the Lehigh Valley.

First launched in May, this is the third edition of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report, which focuses on the region’s office, industrial, and flex space markets, with data from the third quarter of 2015.

“We continue to receive strong feedback regarding this report, which is in keeping with one of our core principles to serve as the leading source of economic data and market intelligence in the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “It’s important to have this knowledge at our disposal because the only way to affect tomorrow is to understand where we are today.”

The new issue is available digitally on the LVEDC website, and hard copies can also be made available upon request at no cost. To obtain copies, contact Director of Communications Colin McEvoy at cmcevoy@lehighvalley.org or 610-266-3817.

Among the findings from the eight-page report is that the Lehigh Valley commercial real estate market fundamentals continue to remain strong across the office, industrial, and flex markets. The national office vacancy rates have increased from 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, to 16 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

The Lehigh Valley office vacancy rate is significantly lower than the national average, the report states, and has improved from 11.79 percent in Q4 2014, to 10.66 percent in Q3 2015, with asking rental rates remaining relatively steady.

The industrial real estate market in the Lehigh Valley remains strong, with vacancy rates for buildings 500,000 square-feet or higher at 1.2 percent, and low rates for medium- and small-sized buildings as well, the report finds. The region’s flex market consists of 241 buildings, and vacancy rates in that market remain low at 4.5 percent.

“The Lehigh Valley continues to see strength in the commercial, industrial, and multi-family segments of the market,” said Cindy Feinberg, co-founder of Feinberg Real Estate Advisors, who contributed her perspective to the report. “We expect this to continue in 2016 due to our location and the strength of our economy.”

The report also includes such information as net absorption, average asking prices, total rentable building area, and current economic data such as employment by industry, growth rates, historical unemployment data, and workforce growth. It also reports on the Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic product, which reached a record-high $35.4 billion in 2014.

Additionally, the report includes a list of all industrial and commercial real estate transactions recorded in Northampton and Lehigh counties during the first quarter of 2015 that sold in excess of $850,000, as well as a map showing the distribution of those sales.

The data featured in the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report was gathered by John Lamirand, LVEDC’s research specialist.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

  • Industry Spotlight

    14.2% of Labor Force
    Employed in Professional & Business Services
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $37 Billion

    Gross Domestic Product

  • Investor Spotlight
    City Center Lehigh Valley
  • Industry Spotlight

    10.2% of Labor Force
    Employed in Manufacturing
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $4.3 Billion

    Exports (2015)

  • Investor Spotlight
    Air Products
  • Industry Spotlight

    1325 Total Office Buildings

  • By the Numbers
    $58,134

    Median Household Income

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    PPL Electric Utilities
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    1707 Total Industrial Buildings

  • By the Numbers
    24,400

    New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

  • Investor Spotlight
    National Penn
  • Industry Spotlight

    4.8% Industrial
    Vacancy Rate

  • By the Numbers
    658,477

    Population

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    Olympus
  • Industry Spotlight

    8.8% Office
    Vacancy Rate

  • By the Numbers
    336,100

    Labor Force

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    Lutron Electronics
  • Industry Spotlight

    10% of Labor Force
    Employed in Leisure & Hospitality
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    4,359

    Technology Patents from 2000-2013

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    Mack Trucks
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    1.6% of Labor Force
    Employed in Food & Beverage Manufacturing
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    25 Million

    Office Inventory (Square Feet)

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    UGI
  • By the Numbers
    108 Million

    Industrial Inventory (Square Feet)

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    NFI