NEW JERSEY—CBRE New Jersey released its First Quarter 2012 New Jersey Industrial MarketView Report, which reflects positive absorption and elevated leasing activity.

According to the report, new leasing velocity rose above 6 million sq. ft. for the third time in the past five quarters while 17 buildings traded ownership during the quarter.

Prior to the first quarter of 2011, this volume of activity was not seen since the first quarter of 2007.

Also reported was the continuation of the drop in availability of industrial space in New Jersey to 10.4 percent.

Central New Jersey, it is noted, continues to outperform northern New Jersey. Central New Jersey’s absorption amounted to 1.83 million sq. ft. in the first quarter; northern New Jersey saw negative absorption of 1.08 million sq. ft.

“Central New Jersey continues to show strong velocity,” said Thomas Monahan, CBRE senior vice president. “Traditional warehouse/distribution uses, larger Class A assets, or those that provide good, flexible design, are stabilizing much faster than similar second-generation product found in northern New Jersey.”

At the end of the first quarter, the average asking lease rate for industrial property remained unchanged from late 2011 at $5.15 per sq. ft. This is the first quarter since 2008 that the asking lease rate did not drop.