Fresno, CA Economic Overview
Fresno is the county seat of Fresno County and is located in South San Joaquin Valley, in the southern part of the Central Valley area of California. While the city itself is home to about 520,000 people, the Fresno MSA has nearly 1 million residents, drawn to the area by its diverse job market and the overall affordability. The demand for commercial real estate in Fresno is driven in large part by the area's strategic location as a transportation hub for all of Central California.
Fresno is the economic center of the San Joaquin Valley. While the economy in Fresno is tied primarily to the agriculture, entertainment and health care industries, health care also makes a significant contribution to the local economy.
With a median household income of over $43,000 a year and an average annual salary of just under $44,000, Fresno has established itself as a location to do business that is much more cost-effective than other parts of California, while at the same time providing a generous labor pool and a centralized location for business.
Fresno, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The ongoing growth of the Fresno commercial real estate market is driven by the area's prominence as a transportation hub for Central California. Major railroads, an extended freeway system, and numerous airports provide a major logistical advantage for Fresno business. The entire west coast of the United States can be reached within 24 hours, from here.
Industrial space is Fresno is a key component of the commercial real estate market. With rates for industrial space running 50% less than those in Los Angeles and nearly 75% less than the San Francisco Bay area, Fresno is a magnet for business seeking an unsurpassed centralized location along with extremely cost-effective industrial space.
Because available land in Fresno for new space is difficult to find, the availability of industrial product continues to decrease, while asking rents and sales prices continue to rise. With 65 million square feet of inventory, most of which is concentrated in the Southeast Fresno commercial real estate submarket, demand for warehouse, industrial and flex space in Fresno remains strong, while e-commerce businesses are increasing the demand for new flex warehouse space.
With nearly 20 million square feet of office inventory in the Fresno area, demand continues to remain strong and concessions to tenants are few and far between. Even though there is additional product in the pipeline to meet demand, vacancy rates for office space in Fresno continue to decline, as asking rents and net absorption are on the rise. Most Fresno office space is located in the Woodward Park, Pinedale, and Maple Creek submarkets.
The retail market in Fresno is trending slightly downward, with both asking sales prices and asking rents a few percentage points lower than the preceding year, reflecting the condition of the overall retail asset class in general for most of the U.S.
Fresno, CA Office Sales Volume
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Fresno, CA Office Transactions
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Fresno, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 126,347 SF
By square footage range:
- 100k to 500k SF: 126,347 SF / 100% of total office
- Class B: 126,347 SF / 100% of total office
Employment in Fresno, CA
Job growth in Fresno, California has increased nearly 4% over the past year, thanks to the diversity of employment options and the affordable cost of living compared to the rest of California. Nearly 42% of the labor force works in the areas of administration, sales, production, material moving, transportation, and construction & extraction. Major employers in Fresno include:
- Community Medical Centers, with nearly 4,800 workers;
- City of Fresno, with over 2,900 employees;
- Saint Agnes Medical Center, with 2,400 employees;
- Kaiser Permenente, with 2,000 workers;
- California State University at Fresno, with nearly 1,600 workers;
- State Center Community College District, with nearly 1,200 employees;
- Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, with over 1,100 workers.
Nearly 2 million acres of agricultural land surround the Fresno area, generating $4 billion in annual sales. Agricultural businesses in Fresno such as Cargill and Foster Farms thrive in the area, as do other diverse industries such as general business, health care, education, and state, local and federal government.
With nearly 1 million people in the Greater Fresno Area, the city is committed to providing a skilled, cost-effective labor pool to business, offering the framework for industry of all types to build and maintain a solid foundation, and to grow and expand throughout Fresno and all of the Central California area and beyond.
Education in Fresno, CA
The Fresno Unified School District serves most of the area, with 84 public elementary, middle and high schools. There are also more than 30 private schools in Fresno, including Fresno Christian High School and San Joaquin Memorial High School.
California State University in Fresno is the main four-year institution, along with the University of California at Merced and the University of California - San Francisco's Fresno Medical Education Program. Public community colleges in Fresno include Fresno City College and Clovis Community College. Private colleges and universities in Fresno include Alliant International University, California Christian College, and Kaplan College.
Commuting Time in Fresno, CA
The average commute time in Fresno is low, at only 20 minutes each day. Despite the relatively easy drive to and from work, over 12% of the work day commuters in Fresno carpool, and just over 4% enjoy working at home.
While still on the drawing board, the City of Fresno aims to turn its high-speed rail system into a nucleus of job and income creation and continued development of Downtown Fresno. Fresno's centralized location makes the area a transportation hub for all of Central California:
- The various connecting freeways in the metropolitan area provide a roadway system convenient for the trucking industry in Fresno to move good and services to the entire Western U.S;
- State Route 99 connects Fresno with direct access to Los Angeles to the south and to the San Francisco Bay Area to the north;
- FAX, the Fresno Area Express, operates a bus transit system the provides fixed routes to schools, shopping centers, hospitals and government offices;
- Freight rail service in Fresno is provided by the Burlington/Northern/Santa Fe, Union Pacific, and San Joaquin Valley railroads;
- The Fresno Yosemite International Airport is the largest commercial airport in Central California, serving over 1.3 million passengers each year.
- Total Population519,037
- Male Population(49.0 %) 254,417
- Female Population(51.0 %) 264,620
- Median Age30.50
- Average Household Income$63,830
- Median Household Income$44,853
- Median Income Under 25$23,657
- Median Income 25-44$44,808
- Median Income 45-64$53,270
- Median Income Over 65$39,157
- Audubon Wedge Demographics
- Brookhaven Demographics
- Bullard Demographics
- Downtown Fresno Demographics
- Edison Demographics
- Fig Garden Loop Demographics
- Hoover Demographics
- Jackson Park Place Demographics
- Jefferson Demographics
- Lincoln Park Demographics
- Manchester Demographics
- McLane Demographics
- North Growth Area Demographics
- Palm Bluffs Business Park Demographics
- River Park Demographics
- Sierra Estates Demographics
- Sierra Sky Park Demographics
- The Bluffs Demographics
- Tower District Demographics
- Van Ness Extension Demographics
- Windemere Demographics
- Woodward Lake Demographics
- Woodward Park Demographics
Residential Rents in Fresno, CA
Fresno has one of the lowest home ownership rates in all of California and the U.S., with nearly 54% of the residents being renters. Residential rental development in Fresno has kept up with demand, with the number of rental units increasing by almost 70% in the past year alone.
The rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fresno comes in at just $600 per month, while three-bedroom rentals go for just under $1,400 monthly. The most expensive neighborhoods for apartment rentals in Fresno are Woodward Park, Bullard, and West Fresno, while the most affordable places to rent in are the neighborhoods of Edison, Fresno-High, and Mclane.
Fresno, CA Average Rental Price, April 2019
- $ 984/mo
- Studio: $ 620
- 1 Bedroom: $ 845
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 996
Fresno, CA Rent Trends
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