Thursday, December 8 , 2016, 5:56 pm | Partly Cloudy 58º



South Coast’s Fourth Quarter Commercial Sales Post Highest Gains in Years

In advance of 2013 tax hikes, end-of-year commercial sales nearly match total transactions for first nine months

The final months of 2012 saw the greatest number of South Coast commercial property sales in years, but real estate professionals aren’t hopeful that run will continue.

Pacifica Commercial Realty reported 31 sales of commercial office, industrial, retail or land in the fourth quarter, for a combined value of $140 million.

The number of sales rivals the 36 transactions of the preceding nine months and easily surpasses their transaction value of $110 million, according to Mark Mattingly, Pacifica executive vice president.

The 69 transactions for 2012 represented $250 million, a sizable 47 percent increase over 2011.

While fourth quarter sales had a banner showing — December was the best single month in a decade — commercial leasing experienced little movement.

Mattingly didn’t expect the sales to inflate consumer confidence, attributing the boost in transaction activity to anticipation of impending federal and state tax hikes.

“We expected that there was going to be a real flurry of activity in anticipation of increasing tax rates,” he said. “This coming year will be significantly slower than what we saw. I think people did the deal they were going to do. It’s going to take a while to build up steam. It’s kind of, I think, the unintended consequence of misguided federal policy.”

Much of the final quarter activity was courtesy of investors realigning their portfolios and taking gains pre-tax increases, Mattingly said.

A better indicator of a healthy real estate market, he added, is a decrease in vacancy rates.

Last year was nowhere near being a notable year in terms of new leasing activity or decreases in vacancy.

“Slow leasing is an indicator of corporate America’s reluctance to make commitments,” Mattingly told Noozhawk. “There’s not some overwhelming confidence that we’re in the midst of some sustainable economic recovery. I think everybody is very concerned.

“I’m working harder,” he continued. “I have to.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >