ELECTRICITY PRICE FOLLOWS RISING OIL COST

The price for a barrel of oil jumped to a record $54.46 in mid-March with expectations that the price will soon break $60. While OPEC recently announced a 500,000 barrel increase in production, electricity costs throughout the U.S. are still expected to rise, but vary by region.

Average Retail Price of Electricity to Commercial and Industrial Users

(Cents per kilowatthour)
Commercial Industrial
Census Division and State Nov. 2004 Nov. 2003 Nov. 2004 Nov. 2003
New England 10.21 10.16 7.43 8.14
Middle Atlantic 10.16 10.22 6.09 6.82
East North Central 7.28 7.02 4.53 4.44
West North Central 5.94 5.45 4.16 4.05
South Atlantic 7.07 6.73 4.55 4.39
East South Central 6.94 6.66 3.84 3.66
West South Central 7.47 7.15 5.36 4.94
Mountain 7.08 6.9 4.83 4.51
Pacific Contiguous 10.2 10.08 6.59 7.76
Pacific Noncontiguous 14.83 12.95 13.21 11.01
U.S. Total Average 8.03 7.79 4.96 4.94
Source: Energy Information Administration


COASTAL AND TECH MARKETS POST STRONGEST OFFICE GAINS

According to Marcus & Millichap's National Office Report, coastal and technology-oriented markets are expected to post the strongest gains in 2005. Fort Lauderdale took the top spot due to high marks in all measured categories, including the second-highest forecasted revenue growth of all markets at 4.5%, coupled with a relatively thin construction market.

Top Projected Office Markets in 2005

MSA Rank 2005 Rank 2004 04-05 Change
Fort Lauderdale 1 11 +10
Washington, D.C. 2 1 -1
Orange County 3 4 +1
Riverside-San Bernardino 4 3 -1
NYC-Manhattan 5 7 +2
San Diego 6 2 -4
Miami 7 14 +7
Tampa 8 9 +1
Los Angeles 9 5 -4
West Palm Beach 10 12 +2
Source: Marcus & Millichap