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Digital Infrastructure in 2021:
The Search for Land, Space, Power and Connectivity

North American Data Center Trends Report H1 2021
August 30, 2021

The data center sector continues to benefit from the ongoing digitization of the global economy, fueled by ever-rising consumer demand for e-commerce, the explosive growth of edge computing and other secular trends.

What’s in the Report

CBRE’s comprehensive review covers the state of the data center sector in key markets across the U.S. and Canada, featuring insights into investment activity, supply and demand changes, current industry trends and emerging ones to watch for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  • Demand for space in data centers rose, with most markets reporting positive net absorption for the first half of the year.
  • Wholesale colocation inventory topped three gigawatts in primary markets as providers brought 214.3 megawatts of new space online during H1 2021.
  • New construction in primary markets at the midpoint of 2021 was up 42% year-over-year.
  • Vacancy rates reached historically low levels in several markets, led by Silicon Valley with a nationwide-low of just 1.6%.
  • Investors remained focused on top-tier assets—those with strong underlying tenancy and significant remaining lease term.
  • Sustainability is a higher priority, with a focus on sourcing clean energy, as well as alternative solutions such as air-cooled systems and, increasingly, water conservation.
  • Interest in edge computing and edge data centers is rising, prompting the positioning of centers closer to end users to support 5G, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and media content traffic.
  • Some users are moving away from a cloud-first approach to a hybrid IT structure. 

Related Research

A Source of Stability: Digital Infrastructure in 2020

March 8, 2021
North American Data Center Report H2 2020
March 8, 2021

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For More Information, Please Contact

Pat Lynch
Senior Managing Director
Data Centers
+1 303 6281765
+1 303 6281751
Edward Socia
Director of Research
+1 303 583 2053
+1 315 345 4748
Molly Sackles
Senior Business Development Associate
+1 303 583 2048
+1 303 628 1751
Eleanor Fisher
Client Services Coordinator
Advisory & Transaction Services, Data Centers
Richard Barkham, Ph.D.
Global Chief Economist, Head of Global Research & Head of Americas Research
+1 617 912 5215
Julie Whelan
Global Head of Occupier Thought Leadership
+1 617 912 5229
Wei Luo
Global Associate Research Director
Capital Markets
+1 212 984 8153

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