Multifamily housing vacancy expected to remain steady throughout 2017.

Commercial real estate vacancy is expected to decrease in 2017, but only in certain areas — and multifamily housing is not one of them.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) quarterly commercial real estate forecast, the multifamily sector is the only commercial real estate sector expected to remain flat year-over-year (at 6.5 percent) — not because of fewer renters, but because of the number of new apartment completions. National office vacancy rates are expected to decrease by 1.1 percent (to 12.1 percent) in 2017, industrial space vacancy rates are expected to decrease by 1.3 percent (to 7.1 percent), and retail availability is expected to decrease by 0.7 percent (to 11.2 percent). 

Apartment Sector Expected Top Performer

The apartment sector is again expected to to be the top performer in commercial real estate, mostly because of affordability and an ongoing supply — and rents continue to see a steady growth across the country.

“Especially in the costliest metro areas, higher home prices and mortgage rates are squeezing the budget for many renters looking to buy and inevitably forcing them to sign a lease for at least another year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Learn More about the NAR Forecast

The NAR forecast looks at four aspects of the commercial real estate industry, office, retail, industrial, and multifamily.

For more detailed information on your specific sector, visit the NAR Economists’ Outlook blog: