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As the national economy continues to show strong signs of growth, so does the industrial sector of the Polk County economy and the commercial real estate market. Several large industrial buyers have come to town and are participating in our market in a significant way.
Sales of office properties in Polk County in the first quarter of 2019 included the transfer of over 65,000 square feet of space. These properties had a sales value of $9.7 million, making the average price per square foot just under $150.
National retail real estate volume continues to increase. With the Q1 total sales volume up 3% over the trailing 12 months. However, velocity is slowing, and quarterly change is essentially flat. Real Capital Analytics data indicates that price growth is also slowing and will be less than 2% for 2019. It is also interesting to note that the spread between 10-year U.S. Treasuries and retail cap rates is at decade-high levels. Some of this characteristic is attributable to concerns that interest rates may increase, and some is attributable to uncertainty as to the impact of e-commerce.
Lakeland continues to follow national trend lines for multi-family vacancy rates. As recently reported by Reis, a leading provider of commercial real estate data, the overall vacancy in the multi-family sector in the second quarter was about 4.7% on average across the entire United States. Lakeland is about 94.6% occupied on average with a 5.4% vacancy rate which is very close to the national average.
Please note that there is a considerable delay between the close of the quarter and when the data included in this report becomes available. This is our most recent quarterly report.