While oil prices have plunged more than 50 percent since summer, economists believe the falling prices should be a boon to the overall economy and lift gross domestic product (GDP) growth 3.0 percent in 2015, according to the February edition of “the BRIEFING,” a report compiled by Transwestern. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has continued to perform well, with the fourth-quarter GDP estimated at 2.6 percent, somewhat down from a sizzling 5.0 percent in third-quarter.
- 252,000 jobs added in December
- Unemployment fell to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent in December
- Wages contracted 0.2 percent
- Inflation rose 0.8 percent in December, the slowest annual rate in five years
- 30-year residential mortgage rates declined to 3.66 percent, leading to a 4.91 percent weekly gain in loan applications, the biggest gain in six years
- Auto sales up 5.9 percent to more than 16.5 million light cars and trucks, the highest sales since 2006
- Eurozone consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in December, the first drop in five years
- 25 percent of the €5 trillion of Eurozone government bonds now pay negative yields
- Collapsing energy prices, sanctions and slowing growth have crushed the Russian Ruble, now taking twice as many to buy $1 as compared to last year
- Russian central bank raised rates sharply from 10.5 percent to 17 percent to protect currency
- China’s 2014 GDP is estimated at 7.4 percent, the slowest annual growth rate in 25 years
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
- Overall vacancies and rents improving across all property types
- Mercedes-Benz plans to move its headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta, saving 20 percent on real estate costs
- Total construction starts in 2014 were up 5 percent to $564 billion
- Non-residential building grew by 14 percent
- Residential building increased by 8 percent – a 22 percent increase in multifamily was offset by a lackluster 4 percent increase in single-family homes
- Hotels saw $20 billion in sales in 2014, representing a 23 percent yearly increase, with an average sales price of $240,000 per room
More information can be found in Transwestern’s February issue of “the BRIEFING,” a monthly publication analyzing the national economy, capital markets and commercial real estate. Download the full report at http://twurls.com/briefing0115
“The BRIEFING” is an aggregation by Tom McNearney, Transwestern’s chief investment officer, of other articles and reports. McNearney leads Transwestern’s capital market efforts for development and investment nationwide. McNearney also serves on the firm’s investment committee and board of directors, and he directs the execution and expansion of the firm’s principal investment activities across the country.
Transwestern is a privately held real estate firm specializing in agency leasing, property and facilities management, tenant advisory, capital markets, research and sustainability. The fully integrated global enterprise leverages competencies in office, industrial, retail, multifamily and healthcare properties to add value for investors, owners and occupiers of real estate. As a member of the Transwestern family of companies, the firm capitalizes on market insights and operational expertise of independent affiliates specializing in development, real estate investment management and research. Transwestern has 34 U.S. offices and assists clients through more than 180 offices in 38 countries as part of a strategic alliance with Paris-based BNP Paribas Real Estate. For more information, please visit transwestern.com and follow us on Twitter: @Transwestern.