Continued demand for industrial space will sustain rent growth and drive vacancy rates lower
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Feb. 24, 2021 – Industrial real estate continues to see strong rent growth and high demand, driven by pandemic-prompted online shopping trends. Industrial rents averaged $6.44 per square foot in January, a 5.1% increase over the last 12 months, according to a new CommercialEdge Industrial National Report.
Even as vaccinations ramp up and more people return to more normal-looking lives, demand for industrial is expected to stay strong. New leases signed in 2020 often included premium pricing, with the average rental rate for new leases signed in the last 12 months at $7.50 per square foot. The average vacancy rate was 6.0%. Continued demand for industrial space will sustain rent growth and drive vacancy rates lower.
“We expect that demand will continue to increase even if e-commerce does not match its blistering 2020 growth rate. E-commerce has a continued role to play, and last year likely signaled a structural shift in consumer preferences more than temporary changes in behavior. Retail as we knew it has changed, and in its place warehousing and distribution have increased in importance,” say analysts. An improving global economy, ramped up trade volume and inventory replenishment for retailers will be additional drivers.
Sector investment activity is healthy and growing as well. The fourth quarter of 2020 now has the highest sales volume of any quarter since Yardi Matrix began collecting industrial data, with $11.9 billion of sales completed. Properties fetched an average price per square foot of $100, an 18.2% increase year-over-year. Find more trend and data insights in the latest national industrial report from CommercialEdge.
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