The recovery we experience last year in the commercial real estate market advanced substantially as we experienced gains in net absorption, rents, sales activity and pricing. With a job gain of 1.7% for the year, the economic growth in the United States helped to increase the commercial sector moving forward in to the better half of 2014. As vacancy rates diminished at the end of 2013 in comparison to it's one year prior mark, we are experiencing new lows in apartment and industrial sectors as well. Office spaces are filling up, allowing for a brighter economy and real estate future to absorb some of the previous issues noted from the down trending problems of 2008.
Rents are now surging 14% higher in the apartment areas, where as Monroe offices are seeing an increase in 6% since hitting a low level in 2010/ early 2011. Even retail spaces saw a small increase in 1.9% from their 2012 rates. We even noticed an increase in commercial real estate investment demand as sales volume went up 16% year over year.
December noted the highest year end for all commercial transaction activity, with year-end deals closing substantially higher than during the rest of the year. Repeat sales recorded reached almost 15000 for 2013, increasing 11.2% from the year prior. As the markets improved, so did the interest for potential investors in this core market.
Not everything was perfect for the previous year as the Hospitality Index did unfortunately decrease 7.4%. On top of this, the hotel market may have performed higher in 2010-2011, as the increase in want for business and travel grew, but since this time period, we have not seen much of a growth at all. With that being said though, Monroe commercial real estate is experiencing a growth in our market with prices, construction and vacancies all rising year over year.
Here is some of the monthly CCRSI results for all commercial real estate through December of 2013.
1 Month 1 Quarter 1 Year Trough to Earlier Earlier Earlier Current Value-Weighted U.S. Composite Index 0.8% 2.8% 11.2% 52.9% Equal-Weighted U.S. Composite Index 0.9% 2.9% 7.6% 18.7% U.S. Investment Grade Index 1.0% 2.8% 13.6% 31.6% U.S. General Commercial Index 0.8% 3.3% 6.5% 17.1% Trough Date: January, 2010 Trough Date: March, 2011 Trough Date: October, 2009 Trough Date: March, 2011