Leasing and investment activity increased significantly in 2010, while vacancies began to decline from their peak, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s year-end report on the U.S. industrial market, released today. Leasing activity for the industrial market totaled 268.8 million square feet in 2010, up 16.5 percent from 2009.
The fourth quarter proved particularly strong, with 79 million square feet of leasing activity, an increase from an average of 63.2 million square feet leased during each of the three previous quarters. Twenty-three of the 34 U.S. industrial markets tracked by Cushman recorded increases in leasing activity year-over-year. Investments for industrial real estate also rebounded during 2010, as 99.9 million square feet of property traded hands, up 64.4 percent from 2009, and the highest level of industrial investment activity since 2007.
“These types of increases make it apparent that confidence is building on behalf of both users and investors,” said Jim Dieter, executive vice president and head of Cushman’s National Industrial Services. “Improvements in fundamentals provide a clear picture of recovery for the U.S. industrial market.” Increases in leasing put downward pressure on vacancy rates and the overall vacancy rate for the U.S. industrial market fell to 10.3 percent at the end of 2010, down from 10.6 at the end of the third quarter after reaching a high of 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Of the 34 U.S. industrial markets tracked by Cushman, 27 experienced quarter-over-quarter declines in vacancy. TRD