Property Values in Office, Apartment Sectors Drop in First Quarter

Property values for office buildings in the top 50 U.S markets dropped by 1.8% over the first quarter of 2004, reports real estate research firm Reis Inc. Meanwhile, apartment buildings posted a 1.4% decline in value over the same period.

The average value for office buildings in the top 50 U.S. markets dropped from $134.76 per sq. ft. in the fourth quarter of 2003 to $132.23 per sq. ft. in the first quarter, according to Reis. Apartment values fell from $68,848 per unit to $67,884 per unit over the same period.

The decline marked the fifth straight quarter that office properties have lost value, reports Reis. Effective rents fell by 0.7% in the first quarter — the 12th straight quarter in which rents declined.

The apartment market posted a 7.1% vacancy rate at the end of the first quarter — the highest since 1987, according to Reis. What’s worse, 92,000 new apartment units are slated to hit the market this year.

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