High Pricing, Few Available Assets Deter Industrial Investment Sales

In spite of strong demand from tenants, industrial investment sales have slowed down recently.

Industrial vacancy ticked up in the first quarter of 2019 for the first time in nine years, to 5.0 percent, mostly due to new deliveries, which totaled 54 million sq. ft., according to a JLL report. Another 405 million sq. ft. of industrial space is under construction, with more than 1 million sq. ft. underway in 75 percent of markets tracked, noted a national first quarter 2019 report from real estate services firm Transwestern.

Leasing remained strong in the first quarter, with 40 million sq. ft. absorbed, representing more than half of new deliveries. Asking rents increased to an average of $6.28 per sq. ft. nationally, reported Transwestern. Of the 47 markets tracked, 41 experienced year-over-year rent growth, due in part to high demand, but also because new construction commands higher rates.

Industrial and multifamily are currently the most popular commercial property types among investors, notes Mark Glagola, senior managing director of Transwestern’s Mid-Atlantic capital markets group. “There’s lots of money looking for a home, and all types of investors are allocating more to industrial real estate than ever before,” he says.

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