The Ultimate Commercial Real Estate Market Statistics Guide [2024]

If you’re looking for commercial real estate statistics, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s been a challenging few years in the real estate market.  COVID-19 stay-at-home orders pressed the pause button on a booming industry.  However, gradually, things are coming back to normal.

Keeping up with this vibrant and ever-changing industry can be challenging.  That’s why we’ve collected the most interesting commercial real estate statistics in one place.

So let’s have a look at what is going on in the commercial real estate sector in the US and beyond.

General commercial real estate statistics

  • Office investment sales averaged $340 per square foot in the first quarter of 2022 (Avison Young)
  • Average direct asking rents were $33.12 per square foot in Q1 2022 (Avison Young)
  • Commercial real estate is the fifth largest market in the US at $16tn (IBISWorld)
  • The market size of the US commercial real estate market has declined at an average rate of 0.5% per year between 2017 and 2022 (IBISWorld)
  • Commercial real estate transactions totaled $161bn in Q1 of 2022 (Colliers)
  • 82% of investors consider ESG (environmental, social, governance) when deciding on commercial real estate projects (ULI )
  • 2% of US office space is listed for sublease (Commercial Edge)
  • The typical length of a building lease in the US is three to ten years (DLA Piper)
  • Commercial property prices have jumped by 20% between May 2021 and May 2022 (Green Street)
  • One-third of US industrial space is more than 50 years old (NMRK)
  • Every $1bn of growth in the e-commerce sector requires an extra 1.2 million square feet of new warehouse space (Prologis)
  • The US accounts for 27% of the total global real estate property value (Savilles)
  • There are over 2.25m commercial real estate businesses in the US (IBISWorld)

Industrial real estate statistics

  • Industrial real estate vacancy rates are only 4% in 2022 (EisnerAmper)
  • The demand for industrial real estate will increase by 850 million square feet to a whopping 14.8 billion square feet by 2023. (Deloitte)
  • Industrial retail rates reached a record high in 2021 (JLL)
  • Third-party logistics account for 35% of all industrial leases (CBRE)
  • More than 70% of US industrial space was built in the last century (NMRK)
  • Before March 2020’s pandemic crash, the US industrial real estate space had grown for 40 consecutive quarters (NMRK)
  • Each year, 117,000 acres of new land are absorbed for industrial development in the US (NMRK)
  • As of 2020, there were almost 650,000 factories in the US (IBISWorld)
  • The Boeing Everett facility in Washington, DC, is the largest factory in the world at 4.3m square feet (Guinness Book of Records)
  • Approximately 130m square feet of new industrial space came online in the US in the first six months of 2021 (Globest)
  • Inland Empire in California had a stunningly low vacancy rate of just 1.2% in 2021 (Commercial Edge)
  • US Industrial vacancy rates dipped below 3.7% in the US at the end of 2021 (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • There were 568.2m square feet of industrial real estate under development in Q4 2021 (Cushman & Wakefield)

Occupancy rate commercial real estate statistics

  • Office occupancy rates rose to 84% in metros areas in February 2022 (National Association of Realtors)
  • Boston added a net 3.75m square foot of occupied office space in one year, between February 2021 and 2022 (National Association of Realtors)
  • Office vacancy rates have gone from 9.7% to 12.2% over the last two years (CoStar)
  • The national average of office occupancy rates has dropped to 39% in the last two years based on data from security footage, keyfobs, and swipe cards (Kastle)

Investing in commercial real estate statistics

  • The average return for a commercial real estate investment is around 9.5% (Mashvisor)
  • The typical real estate investment produces equity between 6% and 12% (Nolo)
  • Commercial real estate prices rose 1.3% between 2020 and 2021 (Real Capital Analytics)
  • Commercial mortgage-backed security delinquency rates stood at 4.7% by the end of 2021 (Trepp)
  • 69% of commercial real estate buyers use financing to purchase buildings (National Association of Realtors)
  • Commercial and multifamily lending hit records highs of $690bn in 2021 (Trepp)
  • REITs (real estate investment trusts) have returned an average of 20% over the last ten years (National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts)
  • Self-storage commercial unit REITs produced a 70% market return in 2021 (Reit)
  • Holiday and lodging resorts REITs felt the effect of COVID-19 and declined by 8% during 2021 (Reit) 
  • Regional malls returned a stunning 82% of investment throughout 2021 (Reit)
  • REITs own 22.5% of all US commercial real estate assets, with the remainder held by private equity funds (Nareit)

Retail real estate statistics 

  • There are over 1.04m retail stores in the US (NRF)
  • Strip mall rents rose by 2.6% during 2021 (CoStar)
  • For every retail unit that closes, five new stores are opened (NRF)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, absorbed 4.3m square feet of retail space during the last quarter of 2021 (CoStar)
  • Decatur, Illinois, had the highest retail vacancy rate in the US in 2021, with 12.4% of units lying unused (CoStar)
  • In 2021, there were over 900m square feet of retail malls in the US (Statista)
  • In 2021, the total surface areas of strip malls in the US was 698 million square feet (Statista)
  • Vacancy rates in US malls reached 8.3% in 2021 (Statista)
  • Retail spaces are becoming more efficient at using space. Between 2010 and 2020, retail sales grew by 42%, but retail supply only increased by 4% (CBRE)
  • Walmart stores account for over one billion square feet of US retail space (Walmart)

Demand related commercial real estate statistics

  • Office tours jumped up 20% between February and March of 2022 (VTS)
  • Office vacancy rates have dropped from 16.4% in Q1 2021 to 12.3% in Q1 2022 (Statista)
  • Sales of multifamily real estate grew by 22.4% year-on-year in 2022 (Colliers)
  • Demand for industrial commercial real estate had outstripped supply by 50% by the end of 2021 (The Real Deal)

Construction commercial real estate statistics

  • Austin is responsible for 7% of all scheduled commercial real estate projects in 2020 (Commercial Edge)
  • There are 148.2m square feet of office space under construction in the US in 2022 (Commercial Edge)
  • The average construction cost of a single-story commercial building in the US is $313 per square foot (Proest)
  • Museum and arts centers are the most expensive buildings to construct in the US and cost around $892 per square foot (Proest)
  • Five-star hotel costs around $691 per square foot to build (Levelset)

Property size and type of commercial real estate statistics

  • 72% percent of commercial buildings in the US are 10,000 square feet or smaller (National Association of Realtors)
  • Mega warehouses (50,000 square feet and bigger) only account for less than 1% of US commercial inventory (NMRK)
  • Multifamily properties accounted for $3.8tn of the total $20tn value of all US commercial real estate (Nareit)
  • There are 21.6bn square feet of Industrial units in the US (Nareit)
  • There are 11.7m square feet of office buildings in the US (Nareit)
  • There are 14m square feet of retail buildings in the US (Nareit)
  • Healthcare buildings cost an average of $864 per square in the US (Nareit)

Office rental commercial real estate statistics

  • Asking prices and effective rents went up by 0.2% and 0.3% during Q1 2022 (Moody Analytics)
  • Office asking rents are going up in 98% of markets in 2022 (National Association of Realtors)
  • Industrial real estate rents are expected to grow by 3.1% to 3.7% per year between 2022 and 2025 (Lee & Associates)
  • Office rents in Menlo Park, San Francisco ($118.73 per square foot in Q4, 2021) were the highest in the US (Commercial Search)
  • Office unit mortgages that have missed payments and are showing signs of distress have risen to 21%, which is the highest rate since the financial crisis (Barclays)

Regional commercial real estate statistics

  • Boston added a net 3.75m square foot of occupied office space in one year, between February 2021 and 2022 (National Association of Realtors)
  • Office rents in the Plaza District in New York are the most expensive in the city at $107.41 per square foot (Commercial Search)
  • New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and LA all saw occupancy rates drop between 2021 and 2022 (National Association of Realtors)
  • Atlanta (20.7%) and Chicago (20.2%) have the highest national vacancy rates in 2022 (Commercial Edge)
  • California had 27 of the 50 highest office rental prices in 2021 (Commercial Search)
  • Average commercial property prices in Austin, Texas, were $58.93 by the end of 2021 (Commercial Search)
  • Net industrial rent in Memphis, Tennessee, was only $3.77 square feet — the lowest in the country (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • The south has just 38% of the US population but accounts for 43% of new multifamily units (US Census Department)

Commercial real estate statistics by building type

  • The apartment sector grew by almost 10% between 2020 and 2021 (NAR Research Group)
  • America has 11.8-billion square feet of retail stock (Lee & Associates)
  • After four straight years of contracting space, malls have grown by 2.7 million square feet in Q1 2022 (Lee & Associated)
  • Multifamily units make up as much as 31% of all housing in the US (American Housing Survey)
  • The number of multifamily homes in the US is expected to reach over 150m by 2023 (Statista)
  • Between 2015 and 2019, approximately 1.387m multifamily blocks were constructed in the US (US Census data)
  • Restaurants account for over 21% of all strip mall businesses in the US (Askwonder)

Post-COVID commercial real estate statistics

  • 36% of respondents said the return to the office was already underway (CBRE)
  • 26% of people surveyed said their post-COVID office return would happen before the end of 2022 (CBRE)
  • Flexible office space is set to grow by 34% over the next few years (CBRE)
  • 80% of workers will be back in the office by 2022 (JLL)
  • Strip malls have bounced back quicker than closed air malls, with landlords filling 17m square feet of units in Q3, 2021 (CBRE)

Global commercial real estate statistics 

  • Hong Kong Central has the most expensive commercial real estate rents globally, with a staggering average rent of $307 per square foot. (
  • London’s glitzy West End is the next most expensive, with commercial real estate rents costing around $235 per square foot (
  • The most expensive global retail rent is $2,745 per square foot in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong (Statista)
  • The estimated value of the global real estate market was $32.6tr in 2021 (Statista)
  • The Dubai Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is over 12m square feet in size (28 Degrees)
  • For the first ten years of its life, the New South China Mall, in Dongguan had an occupancy rate of just 1% (28 Degrees)
  • The total combined value of the world’s commercial real estate reached $32tr in 2020 (Savills)
  • China (16%) and Japan (7%) have the 2nd and 3rd most valuable property after the US (Savills)

Leverage these commercial real estate statistics for your investing or business decisions

Having access to commercial real estate statistics can help you in several ways.

If you’re an investor, it’s always good to stay on top of what’s happening in the market.  The latest commercial real estate statistics can help you decide which sectors you should rotate into — or which you should leave.

Similarly, REITs — or real estate investment trusts — have emerged over the last few years as a great way to invest in commercial property.  These units usually come at such a high cost that the average investor would find it impossible to raise the capital.  However, by buying shares in a REIT, even small-time investors can realize excellent gains.

Finally, these commercial real estate statistics are an excellent resource for landlords or business owners.  It’s important to understand average rents and occupancy rates.  When you know what they are, you can put yourself in a better bargaining position and ensure you’re not overpaying or undercharging when you rent a commercial building.