Many of the North Bay commercial real estate markets showed little change in the amount of available space on market in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, according to newly released brokerage figures.

And that's a good thing, considering the rapid slowdown in business activity, especially among retailers, that led to a surge in store closings and layoffs in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year.

The retail vacancy rate in Sonoma County, which soared from 4.2 percent this time last year to 8.6 percent at the end of 2008, increased barely to 8.8 percent at the mid-year point of 2009, according to Keegan & Coppin/Oncor International.

The brokerage estimated the county office vacancy rate was 21.7 percent at the end of the second quarter of this year, compared to 21.8 percent in the first quarter and 20.2 percent a year ago. NAI BT Commercial figured a 29.7 percent rate for the county in mid-2009, compared with 29.2 percent in the first quarter and 24.8 percent a year ago.

The industrial-space markets of Sonoma and Napa counties had the largest proportionate changes from the first to the second quarters of this year. Though the vacancy rate for Petaluma was lower in mid-2009 than at the end of the first quarter and of 2008 in Petaluma, the countywide rate increased to 14.4 percent from 13.9 percent in the first quarter and 11.4 percent a year ago. NAI BT figured vacancy for the 17.3 million-square-foot Sonoma County industrial market to be 13.5 percent, compared with 13.2 percent earlier this year and 9.7 percent in mid-2008.

Brian Foster of NAI BT noted the rapid slowdown in deal-making in the Petaluma industrial and warehouse market, from 25 leases and eight sales in 2007 to 24 leases and five sales in 2008 and only two leases and no sales this year until Thermo Fisher inked a lease for 90,000 square feet of consolidation space in Petaluma recently.

The situation has been similar in Marin County, noting that leasing of industrial space smaller than 5,000 has been particularly slow, according to Mr. Foster. There was only one lease of that size for the first half of this year in Marin, compared with 19 in the first half of last year and 21 in that part of 2007.

"The amount of square feet leased is also on pace to fall dramatically for the second consecutive year," he said.


Commercial real estate market estimates

Keegan & Coppin2nd qtr. '081st qtr. '092nd qtr. '09Sonoma Co. office vacancy (%) and net absorption (s.f. '08-'09, '07-'08)Petaluma34.6%36.4%35.7% 26,735-276,197-66,306Rohnert Park25.5%27.3%25.9% -36,876-38,405-12,965Santa Rosa14.4%15.9%16.6% -155,259-88,095-144,516Airport, Windsor, Healdsburg14.6%14.8%14.7% -31,023-45,455-3,216Total20.2%21.8%21.7% -196,423-448,152-227,003Sonoma Co. industrial vacancy (%) and net absorption (s.f. '08-'09, '07-'08)Petaluma17.0%15.3%13.9% -40,673112,895161,119Rohnert Park9.0%11.0%13.5% -481,085-77,916-167,910Santa Rosa12.5%15.3%16.0% -196,666-499,664-358,858Airport, Windsor, Healdsburg5.1%11.7%12.3% 76,149-486,871-411,186Total11.4%13.9%14.4% -642,275-951,556-776,835Sonoma Co. retail vacancyCloverdale8.2%13.5%13.5%Healdsburg5.4%5.5%5.6%Petaluma3.2%10.5%10.2%Rohnert Park/Cotati8.0%9.5%10.0%Santa Rosa3.4%9.2%9.4%Sebastopol2.8%2.8%2.8%Sonoma1.4%2.5%3.9%Windsor2.0%7.8%7.3%Total4.2%8.6%8.8%Marin Co. office vacancy (%) and net absorption (s.f. '08-'09, '07-'08)Sausalito10.5%18.8%- 10,312-4,633-Tiburon*0.0%28.7%- 1,311-3,876-Mill Valley12.7%14.7%- 4,381-8,381-Corte Madera3.3%6.9%- 4,508-10,852-Larkspur/Greenbrae10.9%19.8%- -30,265-16,510-San Rafael18.7%26.6%- 27,911-203,298-Novato15.1%17.0%- 67,141-5,169-Total15.1%20.8%- 85,299-252,719 Marin Co. industrial vacancy (%) and net absorption (s.f. '08-'09, '07-'08)Sausalito2.5%4.7%- -11,189-16,237-Mill Valley0.0%0.0%- 00-Corte Madera0.8%0.6%- -87211,668-Bahia de Rafael1.6%0.4%- 28,947-1,500-San Rafael2.6%4.6%- 336-78,330-Novato1.9%2.7%- 39,94723,221-Total2.2%3.3%- 57,169-61,178-Marin Co. retail vacancySausalito5.5%4.0%-Mill Valley1.4%3.6%-Corte Madera4.1%2.7%-Larkspur/Greenbrae2.7%2.6%-San Anselmo0.7%2.3%-San Rafael2.3%3.5%-Novato8.0%9.1%-Total4.2%4.8%-Napa Co.Office vacancyNapa Co. Airport-area business parks10.3%14.3%14.1%Industrial vacancyNapa Co. Airport-area business parks4.4%10.1%11.7%

Notes: Keegan & Coppin didn't have second-quarter 2009 figures for Marin County available. The Tiburon office market has 17,000 square feet.


NAI BT Commercial2nd qtr. '081st qtr. '092nd qtr. '09Sonoma Co. office vacancyClass A30.5%34.9%35.4%Class B16.9%19.1%19.4%All types24.8%29.2%29.7%Absorption (s.f.)Gross143,154160,10444,298Net-76,348-181,199-10,212Average asking rent (full-service basis, per s.f. per month)Class A$1.89$1.87$1.84Class B$1.81$1.65$1.61All types$1.87$1.79$1.75Sonoma Co. industrial vacancyAll types9.7%13.2%13.5%Absorption (s.f.)Gross137,560169,554138,917Net-137,577-325,460-51,132Average asking rent (full-service basis, per s.f. per month)All types   Marin Co. office vacancyClass A15.6%23.4%24.0%Class B12.3%15.8%16.2%All types13.2%18.4%18.8%Absorption (s.f.)Gross238,98143,43575,327Net14,933-240,698-41,657Average asking rent (full-service basis, per s.f. per month)Class A$2.86$2.55$2.55Class B$2.76$2.65$2.62All types$2.80$2.59$2.58