E-commerce continued to fuel the U.S. industrial markets’ positive momentum in the first quarter of 2013, according to statistics released by Cushman & Wakefield.
The overall vacancy rate fell to 8.2 percent in the first quarter, down 80 basis points from the same period last year. It was the lowest point since the third quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, warehouse vacancies declined for the 12th consecutive quarter after peaking in the first quarter of 2010, as rental rates trended upwards.
Year-to-date national industrial leasing activity totaled 71.2 million square feet, marking a quarterly decline driven by a present lack of product, following a 19.0 percent increase in activity in the second quarter of 2012. Strong demand and an increase in construction over time are expected to offset this ebb in leasing activity, the commercial real estate services provider said in a written statement.
“Expansion of e-commerce is fueling demand for big-box distribution centers in major distribution hubs and has triggered an increase in both build-to-suit and speculative development,” said John Morris, Cushman & Wakefield’s leader of industrial services for the Americas. “This wave will continue due to an undersupply of Class A space.”