The U.S. Industrial Market Keeps Setting Records as a New Year Begins

A record-setting year. That’s what 2021 was for the U.S. industrial market.

The evidence? It comes from Cushman & Wakefield’s fourth-quarter industrial report, which shows that the U.S. industrial market saw absorption of more than 500 million square feet in 2021. That’s a record-high number, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

At the same time, the U.S. industrial market’s vacancy rate fell under 4 percent for the first time ever, hitting 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter of the year.

And in even more good news, industrial rental rates hit an average of $7.39 a square foot, up 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of this year when compared to the same quarter in 2020.

“We are seeing unprecedented low vacancy and incredibly high demand for industrial space across the United States,” said Carolyn Salzer, Americas head of logistics and industrial research for Cushman & Wakefield, in a statement. “Demand is outpacing supply by a wide margin – almost 50 percent.”

In other impressive statistics, Cushman & Wakefield reported that new industrial leasing activity totaled 879.9 million square feet, also a new record.

The under-construction pipeline also set a new record, with 568.2 million square feet in development across the country, 54 percent above 2020 levels.

“Developers are setting new records on the pipeline yet falling short of meeting demand for space when it comes to deliveries due to pandemic related issues, particularly for warehousing and e-commerce facilities,” said Salzer. “Until significant new supply is able to be delivered at the rate of demand, we expect tenants to continue to struggle finding the space they need. The market is as competitive as it has ever been.”