Net Absorption Drops to Lowest Level Since 2012 on Lack of New Supply
Our latest research report — Q1 2019 Industrial Market Outlook — presents the key trends and statistics for the U.S. industrial market. While U.S. industrial property fundamentals remain very healthy, with record high asking rents and occupancy, a plunge in overall net absorption was the big story in Q1 2019. Overall net absorption finished at 39.2 million square feet, the lowest quarterly total since Q3 2012. While first quarters tend to be the lowest quarter for net absorption in each year, the decline this quarter of almost 25% was significant for its sheer magnitude. A key factor certainly seems to be a simultaneous drop in new inventory added, so we anticipate a pickup in absorption this spring on the strength of greater deliveries. But we will also be watching for the expected economic slowdown, as well as escalating trade concerns, for any impacts on industrial property demand.
- With vacancies at record lows and so little inventory available to rent, absorption volumes increasingly rely on new construction.
- Because of tenants’ insatiable demand for modern construction to meet evolving logistics requirements, core markets with land available and new product to develop are doing exceptionally well.
- Markets with robust new development were generally the out-performers in Q1 2019.
- The top new occupier for bulk (100,000 square feet and larger) industrial space remained third-party logistics and packaging companies (3PLs) for the 14th consecutive quarter, signing 28% of new bulk deals in Q1 2019.
- General retail and wholesale companies continue to be a major new occupier of industrial space.
- Despite a potential slowdown in economic fundamentals, overall industrial net absorption should increase significantly in the coming quarters because of a pickup in new construction.
For more details on the latest office trends, download the Q1 2019 U.S. Industrial Market Outlook Report. Be sure to also explore the Q1 2019 update to Your Market Insights Hub | U.S. Industrial, which presents the latest data and forecasts in a detailed, interactive format – including a new metro map feature.