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September 17, 2019
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E-Commerce Related Demand Is Driving New Warehouse Construction in West Coast Markets

7/02/19

This report was provided to us by real estate services firm CBRE.

Strong market fundamentals in key West Coast markets are driving new warehouse development to the highest levels in decades, much of it speculative, according to the latest research from CBRE. At the end of Q1 2019, eight major West Coast areas had 57.7 msf of speculative warehouse construction underway, which accounted for about 40% of the 20 most active speculative development regions in the U.S. In spite of this activity, since 2015 West Coast warehouse demand has outpaced new warehouse deliveries by 20 million square feet.

Six of the eight West Coast markets (Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco Bay Area, Salt Lake City and Seattle) showed vacancy rates below the national average (4.4%), aggregate annual net asking rent growth of 9.3%, and 2018 net absorption about equivalent to under-construction levels. Denver and Phoenix’s net absorption demand exceeded construction, even though vacancy rates were well above the national average and aggregate rent growth was a modest 3.1%.

Sustained demand from e-commerce, food & beverage, wholesaler and third-party logistics users, which have dominated new development pre-commitments during the past 12 months, should provide ample support for additional new supply within West Coast markets.

Shifting consumer purchasing preferences toward e-commerce has consistently increased demand for warehouse space in the Greater Los Angeles/Inland Empire/Orange County (GLA/IE/OC) region. Since 2013, e-commerce related businesses accounted for 38% of gross industrial leasing activity or about 190 million sq. ft. Through the first five months of 2019, 45% of industrial leasing activity was e-commerce related. The rising demand is being driven by more retailers, wholesalers and third-party logistics (3PLs) devoting capital and labor to adapt their supply chains for faster delivery and to better compete for customers.

Industrial demand from e-commerce related users over the last six years contributed to a surge in Transportation & Warehousing employment (T&W), which increased by 26% to 457,000 total T&W jobs. Three-fourths of these were in the occupation categories of laborers and freight, stock, and material movers; and packers and packagers accounting. As e-commerce further gains market share, additional T&W workers and warehouse space will be needed to fulfill this growth.

For more info, please visit http://www.cbre.us/socal .




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