With momentum building each quarter, 2021 proved a banner year for commercial sales, posting record transactions and dollar value. Whereas the unexpected surge of sales volume in 2020 came mostly from well-funded investors, in 2021 sales proceeded at all price levels from all kinds of buyers. In the leasing market, all indicators show growth from the slowdown in 2020, but activity has nonetheless been affected by the ups and downs of the pandemic, and the recovery phase is still in progress.
Here are a few summary highlights:
- Q4 was the highest-volume sales quarter on record, capping an unprecedented year of 117 commercial sales and allaying any doubt the market had recovered from the pandemic recession.
- Rents rebounded fully after dipping in 2020. Lease rates grew 10% year-over-year in 2021 and were 5% above the pre-pandemic average.
- Santa Barbara’s office and retail leasing markets continue to have record-high vacancy rates, while all other sub-markets on the South Coast are at or below pre-pandemic supply.
- Leasing volume has not recovered to pre-COVID levels. Lease consideration in 2021 was 26% below the pre- pandemic 5-year average.
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