While the coronavirus has devastated much of New York City’s economy, its industrial market in the first quarter was a bit stronger than in the final quarter of 2019.
The industrial vacancy rate fell to 5.1 percent from its Q4 2019 level of 5.3 percent, according to a CBRE report. Industrial availability, which includes occupied space being offered for lease, remained at 8.5 percent, about the same as in Q4 2019. New leases, expansions and renewals totaled 2.86 million square feet, with the heaviest concentration in Queens.
Rents and sales were also similar to or stronger than their Q4 2019 levels. Average asking rent jumped 10.6 percent over last quarter while the average asking sale price stayed around $379.61 per square foot. Overall sales totaled about 1.7 million square feet — a nearly 72 percent increase from the fourth quarter — and $405 million.
Construction remained strong in Q1 2020. Eight properties totaling nearly 2.8 million square feet were under construction and two projects totaling more than 1 million square feet broke ground. This trend showed signs of reversing toward the end of the quarter, however, as the pandemic began to grip the city.
Industrial construction in New York City was halted at the end of the quarter when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced and extended a ban on all non-essential construction, including on industrial projects.