San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., experienced the most dramatic decline in revenue per available room (RevPAR) nationally last year. Revenues already were down in most major markets January through August, and they then dropped precipitously following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Below are the 10 markets with the biggest RevPAR losses in 2001.

Jan.-Aug. Sept.-Dec. 12-month average
1. San Francisco -13% -42% -22%
2. San Jose, Calif. -10% -45% -22%
3. New York -11% -36% -21%
4. Boston -10% -37% -20%
5. Austin, Texas -9% -31% -16%
6. Chicago -9% -25% -15%
7. Las Vegas -8% -29% -15%
8. Dallas -8% -28% -15%
9. Charlotte, N.C. -11% -22% -14%
10. Cincinnati -12% -16% -13%
National average -2% -18% -7%
Source: Smith Travel Research


As apartment markets across the nation continue to grapple with rising vacancy rates, rent concessions are becoming more common. In the first quarter of this year, 34.5% of the units surveyed by Dallas-based M/PF Research were offering a rent discount, such as a month of free rent or half off a month's rent. The firm's study covered the largest apartment owners and managers in 24 markets nationwide. The first-quarter findings represent a dramatic jump from the same period in 2001, when 14.9% of the units surveyed offered a rent discount. In first-quarter 2002, Austin, Texas, offered the highest concentration of rent concessions, with 59.1% of the metro area's units leasing at a discount.


As one would expect in a down economy, the pace of industrial construction has slowed considerably. In fourth-quarter 2000 — a recent peak for new construction — 121.8 million sq. ft. of industrial space was under construction, approximately 75% of which was speculative space, according to New York-based Grubb & Ellis Co. By the first quarter of this year, the total had plunged to 56.9 million sq. ft., about 64% of which was speculative space.


Average household credit card debt has risen significantly over the last decade. From 1990 to 1995 alone, average debt per household with a credit card nearly doubled, from $2,985 to $5,832. These figures include all types of credit cards and U.S. households with at least one credit card.


The average length for office leases has dropped significantly from its high of 68 months in first-quarter 2000 to a low of 59 months in first-quarter 2002. The variation is not surprising, given the large amount of sublease space on the market, the reluctance of tenants to sign long-term leases until corporate profits improve and the hesitancy of landlords to sign long-term leases during a market low.

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