Local commercial real estate picks up momentum

Commercial real estate transactions were up 65 percent from last year in April.  Transactions have more than doubled during the past two months, with a notable April increase in the retail-commercial sector, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR). 

“The transaction and new listings growth are welcome signs of the economy beginning to unmask,” Cassie Petzoldt, chair of the NETAR Commercial Real Estate Committee, said. “The activity that begun building during the fourth quarter last year has expanded into this year and is expected to pick up momentum as the economy continues improving.” 

So far this year, transactions are 44 percent better than the first four months of last year when the local commercial sector was in the throes of a reaction to the pandemic-induced economic shock. 

The office sector continues to be the most robust sector with 34 transactions so far this year. It was eclipsed in April by 13 new retail-commercial transactions. The increase can be attributed to the improving economy and preparations for what some believe will be a spending splurge as summer approaches.  

The service sector – especially restaurants – continues to struggle with a labor shortage to accommodate the higher consumer demand.  

There were 846 commercial listings on local commercial real estate databases last month. That’s down 10.6 percent from last year, but new listings are increasing. There were 78 new listings last month compared to 23 April last year.  

Vacant land continues to be a top listing category. Listings have increased to 488 from 348 during the first four months of last year. Those listing include commercial and residential land offerings. So far this year, vacant land sales are up 125 percent.