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Commercial real estate market improves

Posted: November 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.

In releasing its latest economic snapshot report for the Santa Clarita Valley this week, the biggest news is on the commercial real estate front, which has long suffered in the economic downturn.

Building permits for tenant improvements, alterations and certificate of occupancy were all up in August 2012 over 2011, according to the SCV Economic Development Corp.

Thirteen Certificates of Occupancy were issued totaling 87,826 square feet — nearly quadruple the number of certificates issued in August of 2011 when only four permits were issued for a total of 11,034 square feet.

As for commercial alterations, a total of 28 permits were issued in August — up more than 33 percent from the 21 permits for commercial alterations issued the prior year. And nine permits for tenant improvements were issued in August, up from the seven permits granted in August 2011.

Vacancy rates dipped slightly for retail in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter of this year. The retail vacancy rate was 6.8 percent in the third quarter compared to 7 percent in the prior quarter.

While office and industrial vacancy rates increased slightly, the slight increase of less than 1 percent in the industrial sector is a welcome sign in a region that has been short on space for businesses looking to expand or relocate.

The positive gains in the commercial real estate market came on the heels of the city of Santa Clarita’s dramatic dip in the unemployment rate, which dropped to 6.2 percent in September. Only two months earlier in July 2012 the local rate stood at 7.3 percent.

Local housing has steadily gained ground as well as the number of homes sold has been steadily rising for several consecutive months until the market hit a bump in September, due to a dire shortage of homes being listed for sale, according to statewide Realty experts.

The sales tax revenue generated for the city of Santa Clarita was up 8.7 percent in the first quarter, according to the SCVEDC. Sales tax revenue of $6.3 million was up from the $5.8 million generated in the first quarter of 2011.




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