How Long Will the Industrial Boom Last?


industrial-buildingsInvestors are diving into the U.S. industrial market, chasing after a property type that’s having one of its best recovery cycles on record because of the never-ending need for more e-commerce distribution space. However, with strong performance come higher prices, a trend that’s pushed some firms out of the market and may eventually shrink yields if demand cools down.

Last year the U.S. industrial sector registered net absorption of 238.6 million sq. ft., a high water mark for the sector for net absorption gains, according to a recent report from real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. Further, the national vacancy rate dropped for the 23rd consecutive quarter in the last three months of 2015, to about 7 percent, the longest streak of net occupancy growth in more than two decades.

The national development pipeline remains strong, with 180.5 million sq. ft. under construction, and 172.4 million sq. ft. delivered in 2015, according to an official statement from Jason Tolliver, head of industrial research for the Americas at Cushman. Supply still isn’t catching up with demand, he noted.

“Based on active tenant requirements, an indicator of future leasing velocity, there is a robust pipeline of pent-up demand,” Tolliver said. “With current and projected demand from active tenant requirements double the amount of speculative construction now under way, demand will likely exceed supply for at least one more year as domestic fundamentals and industrial occupancy drivers remain strong.”


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