Charlotte closes industrial lease rates and construction at record highs
Los Angeles, January 15, 2015—The four-year recovery of the U.S. industrial real estate market is poised to continue in 2015, with demand again projected to outpace supply, availability continuing to decline and rents rising, according to CBRE Research’s 2015 U.S. Industrial Outlook.
Charlotte in particular has felt the rise of the industrial market, as lease rates in Charlotte closed out 2014 at a record high $5.40. This makes the 15th consecutive quarter of outstanding growth, and it is expected to continue through 2015.
“There is still plenty of upside for the industrial market, particularly for rental growth. Both cyclical demand drivers—GDP growth, expanding manufacturing sector—and structural demand drivers—e-commerce, supply chain evolution—will promote strong user demand across geographies and product types,” said Scott Marshall, Executive Managing Director, Industrial Services, The Americas, CBRE.
Strong demand pushed net absorption to 224.1 million sq. ft. in 2014—above its long-term average of 133.0 million sq. ft.—which, in turn, will cause rents to rise by 4 to 5 percent over the course of 2015. However, rents, while growing quickly, won’t return to their pre-recession level until the latter part of 2016.
Availability will continue to fall, but the rate of decrease will slow as the construction of new space increases. New construction is expected to rise to 141.8 million sq. ft. nationally in 2015—up from 115.2 million sq. ft. in 2014. This compares with a long-term average of 155.4 million sq. ft. By the end of 2015, supply and demand will be closer to equilibrium and availability will begin to find its natural spot, settling near 10 percent.
Construction activity in Charlotte reached a record high figure during Q3 2014, with seven buildings totaling 1,570,131 sq. ft. under construction. Q4 2014 had five buildings under construction in Charlotte, totaling 1,428,293 sq. ft., which was the third largest figure that has ever been recorded in the Charlotte market. In addition to this construction activity, there are another 22 buildings totaling approximately 2,825,000 sq. ft. that have been planned or proposed in the Charlotte market.
Other highlights of the report, written by David Egan, Americas Head of Industrial Research, CBRE, include:
• New supply levels will rise, but rising construction costs could dampen development
Construction was virtually non-existent in the aftermath of the recession and has only gradually recovered in recent years. With modern distribution space in short supply fueling development activity over the past 12 to 18 months, total new completions should finally reach long-term averages in 2015. However, rapidly rising construction costs threaten to temper construction growth in the mid to long term.
• Technology, automation (not reshoring) will spur more demand for manufacturing space
U.S. manufacturing is on the rise, with production outputs now at all-time highs. However, these gains are due largely to increases in technology and automation and are not a result of elevated employment or reshoring. The increase in outputs has a simulative effect on industrial demand in key manufacturing and supply chain markets.
• Light industrial poised for strong growth in 2015
Light industrial facilities, properties smaller than 200,000 sq. ft., may be best bet for growth in 2015. These facilities have historically outperformed larger distribution centers in terms of rental growth, but have lagged behind in the current cycle. With demand rising for facilities in smaller infill locations in land- and supply-constrained urban areas, light industrial fundamentals will see a boost in 2015.
To request a copy of the report or to speak with a CBRE expert, please contact Robert McGrath (212.984.8267 or Robert.McGrath@cbre.com) or Corey Mirman (212.984.6542 or Corey.Mirman@cbre.com).
About CBRE Group, Inc. CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue). The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our Web site at www.cbre.com.