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Warehouses Set Leasing Record

A record 37 signings for 1 million sq. ft. or more warehouses were among the top 100 industrial leasing transactions in the first half of 2022 – up from 24 at the same time last year, CBRE reports.

The global icommercial real estate services giant also said that the first 50 of the top 100 had an average size of 931,860 sq. ft., compared with 800,149 in the first half of 2021.

Just 15 of the top 100 leases were renewals, which CBRE points out is a sign that tenants generally are deciding to expand their spaces.

Traditional retailers/wholesalers were most active, accounting for 40 of the top 100, followed by third-party logistics operators with 30 – seven of which were for 1 million sq. ft. or more, compared with none of these in the first half of  2021.

CBRE noted that ecommerce companies took 12 of the top 100, down from 27 for last year’s first half.

Atlanta led all markets with 12 of the top 100, five of which were for 1 million sq. ft. or more, followed by Chicago with 11 of the top 100. Savannah was the top emerging market with seven of the top 100, up from just two a year ago.

Continued demand for mega distribution centers is expected in the second half of 2022, CBRE adds. It says a large increase in construction from a year ago will fuel more leasing activity, particularly in markets with the highest rates of speculative development, like Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and Indianapolis.

Overall U.S. industrial fundamentals remained solid in the first half of the year, with a record low vacancy rate and record high rent growth. Leasing activity for all size ranges totaled 454 million sq. ft., down by 5.4% from a year ago but 44% higher than in the first half of 2020.

The slight year-over-year decline is seen resulting from a 21.1% drop in demand for light-industrial space (under 25,000 sq. ft.), CBRE says. Leases for 700,000 sq. ft. or more increased by 24.6%.

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