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Commercial Real Estate & Business News – October 18, 2017

There was a little less vacant office space in the U.S. at the end of the third quarter. The national vacancy rate, according to the company, dropped 10 basis points (bps) quarter-over-quarter, down to 12.9 percent. Continuing a recent pattern, suburban office markets continued to set the pace for the decline. The vacancy rate in suburban markets decreased 20 bps for the quarter, down to 14.1 percent, while downtown vacancy dropped to 10 bps to 10.6 percent…»

Greater Phoenix posted a very strong third quarter in the retail real estate sector, with highest net absorption in several years and vacancy dropping to its lowest level in nearly a decade. Net absorption during third quarter 2017 totaled more than 680,000 square feet, marking the strongest quarter in four years. This brings the year-to-date net absorption figure to more than 1.6 million square feet…»

A former Sam’s Club big box store in Phoenix is becoming an 850-worker call center for Consumer Cellular. Consumer Cellular is an Oregon-based no contract telecommunications company. Sam’s Club is a membership arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). It competes with Costco (Nasdaq: COST). Consumer Cellular is leasing the 164,000-square-foot former big box located off the Interstate 17 near Bell Road…»

Small businesses have a great chance to succeed in Phoenix, according to a new ranking from Yelp. The San Francisco-based business-review service released this week its inaugural Local Economic Outlook, which uses Yelp data to rank the 50 metro areas where small businesses have the most economic opportunity and chance to succeed. Phoenix came in at No. 15 on the 50-city index…»

Fannie Mae kept its full-year economic growth forecast unchanged at 2.2%. “While we expect full-year economic growth for 2017 to come in at the same rate projected in our prior forecast, we now believe that total home sales will be essentially flat this year compared with the moderate rise predicted in the prior forecast,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. “Despite muted underlying inflation, we continue to expect the Fed to raise rates for the third time this year in December.” This outlook for a third rate hike this year is shared by most experts, including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen herself…»