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Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate

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Executive summary

The Commercial Real Estate industry comprises a diverse set of operators that specialize in a variety of real estate activities, including brokerage, property and facilities management, research and analytics, consulting, valuation, appraisal, construction and asset management. Changes within the commercial real estate market, including fluctuations in vacancy rates, property values and credit activity, influence demand for industry services. During periods of economic downturn, low business activity lessens demand for additional office buildings, retail centers, hotels, apartment buildings, manufacturing plants and other commercial spaces. As property owners and developers do not require new space, demand for industry services falls. However, since most projects take several years to complete, there is a lag between demand and building development.
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Each report includes:

industry revenue;

industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; medium is $0.125 to $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; low is less than $0.125 of capital for every $1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

The number of permanent, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, working proprietors, partners, managers and executives within the industry.

Colloquial Terminology

A commercial office building that commands the highest rent due to the attractiveness and prestige associated with its location, tenancy, amenities and overall desirability.

An environmental building certificate program established under the US Green Building Council that certifies buildings meet energy-efficiency and green requirements.

A legal entity that uses pooled investor capital to purchase and manage income property or mortgage loans. To qualify as a REIT, the entity must distribute at least 90.0% of taxable income.

The amount of real estate space unoccupied as a percentage of total available space.


Over the five years to 2022, demand for industry services fluctuated. At the beginning of the current period, operators benefited from a booming economy and high consumer spending. Since businesses principally rely on consumer incomes for revenue, increased consumer spending typically boosts demand for construction activity, in addition to leasing activity. However, the unemployment rate spiked in 2020 amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, leading consumer spending, corporate profit and the value of private nonresidential construction to significantly decline in 2020. However, construction activity is expected to recover by 2022. Accordingly, the industry is expected to ultimately stagnate at $1.2 trillion over the five years to 2022, including an incline of 2.8% in 2022 alone. As result of wage growth, industry profit, measured as earnings before taxes and interest, is expected to drop to 9.1% of industry revenue in 2022.

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