Total vacancy rate Average asking rent
Southern New Hampshire Office Market
Source: Cushman & Wakefield
Southern New Hampshire office market
A Cushman & Wakefield report analyzed third-quarter 2017 office trends in
six major New Hampshire metros, all located in Southern New Hampshire:
Bedford, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem. It found
the average asking rent for office space in the region was $17.19 per square
foot and the average vacancy rate was 15. 5 percent.
Office sales in the Southern New Hampshire market for the first three
quarters of 2017 exceeded the total for all of 2016, Cushman & Wakefield
reported. The report noted that job growth has been solid in areas that
affect the office market, which could be an indication that demand for
space will grow going forward.
CBRE’s 2017 New Hampshire office-market outlook report said, however,
that “challenged office properties will need to find creative solutions.”
Property investors seem to be thinking outside of the box in some
instances, including the conversion last year of a 130,000-square-foot office
building into retail space and 91 high-end apartment units in Manchester.
What the locals say
“One particularly very strong sector is multifamily, right up
through luxury apartments. … Millennials are opting to
not immediately buy [homes], putting that off, but having a
desire for something better than when they were younger.
… At the same time, you’ve got baby boomers selling
their larger homes, looking for low or no maintenance and
simplifying their life. That has put a lot of pressure on rents.
You’ll see two-bedroom apartments on the upper end
exceeding $2,000 a month.”
By Neil Pierson
The Granite State is small in size but its economy packs a punch.
New Hampshire has a long history of independence. As one of the 13 American colonies, it was the first state to write its own constitution. The state
motto is “Live Free or Die.” The Granite State also plays a key role in each
presidential election cycle as the first state to hold a primary vote.
That spirit of individuality is ingrained in a place where the relatively tiny
population of about 1.3 million is spread across only 9,349 square miles,
making New Hampshire the fifth-smallest state by area.
A WalletHub study from this past August declared New Hampshire the
fourth-best state for health care, with access to care and strong patient outcomes deemed a strength. New Hampshire has the nation’s second-highest
Medicare-acceptance rate among physicians, the study said.
But other economic indicators show the state is struggling. Graduates of
New Hampshire colleges and universities have the nation’s highest average
student-loan debt, more than $36,000, according to a 2016 study from the
Project on Student Debt. That’s making it difficult for the state to maintain
an educated, homegrown workforce as many students choose to leave the
state for college.
Another WalletHub study from this past July ranked New Hampshire ninth
among states for highest average energy costs, including home and vehicle,
at $306 per month. Heating oil is particularly expensive, at $63 per month
per household, the fifth-highest rate in the country, the study found.
Historically, the state relied on paper and grain mills as economic drivers.
By the end of the 20th century, however, New Hampshire began benefiting
from the high-tech success in neighboring Massachusetts, as many of those
types of companies found a home in the Granite State.
A small portion of the state borders the Atlantic Ocean, allowing the Seacoast region and cities like Portsmouth, Hampton and Seabrook to flourish
through tourism efforts. Tourism generates about $5.3 billion per year and
supports almost 70,000 jobs statewide. New Hampshire has 34 ski resorts for
both alpine and cross-country enthusiasts. Loon Mountain, which receives
about 160 inches of snow each year, ranked No. 10 overall on Ski magazine’s
2018 resort guide for the eastern U.S. and Canada.
The state boasts a per capita personal income of nearly $56,000, which
ranks seventh nationally. The state’s gross domestic product grew 3 percent
in 2016, to $77.9 billion, but the size of New Hampshire GDP only ranks 39th
among the states, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports. n Don St. Germain
Executive vice president,
St. Mary’s Bank, Manchester