Maybe not particularly surprising, but still interesting:
US commercial real estate is also getting hammered. The nationwide vacancy rate has now risen to 15.2 %, with market participants expecting a further rise to 19 % or more. In other words: Soon, nearly 1 in 5 offices will be empty.
Prices for commercial real estate have dropped 22 % since 2007, and average rent is down 3 % year-on-year (for those properties that are not vacant), with steeper drops expected going forward as existing leases are renegotiated or expire.
New York City, the epicenter of the financial crisis, has fared somewhat better as far as vacancies are concerned (they now stand at 10 %), but rents are down quite sharply (9 % year-on-year), with further drops expected.
(Sources: Reuters, WSJ )
Edit: Additional news regarding vacancies in the US retail sector.
In comparison, German commercial real estate is - so far - holding up quite well:
Vacancy rates in major cities: Hamburg 7.5 % (stable), Munich 7.0 % (stable), Berlin 8.2 % (going down), Frankfurt 12.2 % (going up).
Rents are declining a bit, except for Berlin, where they are increasing (from a considerably lower base compared to the other big cities) due to strong demand from government agencies and lobbyists.
However, the downturn is only starting to make itself felt: German companies are now beginning to seriously reduce head-count, and vacancies will obviously increase throughout 2009 and into 2010.
(Sources: here, here, and here )