From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Mueller’s Market Cycle Monitor

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Sorry it’s been so long — I’ve been traveling a good bit lately, and it’s hard to keep up!

One of my favorite real estate pieces hit my desk while I was gone — Dr. Glenn Mueller’ Market Cycle Monitor, published by Dividend Capital. He developed this model about 15 years ago, and it tracks occupancy and absorption of major commercial property types in about 50 geographic markets. As a property type (in a given market) sees increasing occupancy, market participants bring new property on-line. This creates an expansion. At the peak of the expansion curve, “hypersupply” begins, following which the new supply exceeds the market ability to absorb property. Vacancy rates increase, even as new property is still coming on line. This stimulates a recession. During the recession, no new property comes on-line, and occupancies hit a nadir. At that point, natural expansion of the economy stimulates a recovery, during which excess properties are absorbed and the cycle continues. The following, taken from Dr. Mueller’s excellent 1995 paper, captures the entire idea:

Currently, the market can be best described as “flat-lined”. Office occupancies were flat during the first quarter, and rents were actually down slightly (0.3%, on an annual basis). Industrial occupancies improved slightly, but rents actually fell signficantly (3.1% annualized). APartment occupancies improved slightly, and rental growth improved significantly (2.8% annually). Retail occupancy actually improved significantly, but rental growth trended downward (3.1% annually). Finally, hotel occupancies improved a bit (0.8%), and hotel income (measured as RevPAR, or Revenue per available room) increased 8.9% on an annualized basis.

For a complete copy of Dr. Mueller’s report, click here or write us at

Written by johnkilpatrick

May 27, 2011 at 10:04 am

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