Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Industrial Markets to Watch. Not the largest, or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Industrial Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
TOP INDUSTRIAL MARKET TO WATCH : Los Angeles and Long Beach, California
Moves by two shipping companies from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Long Beach in late 2012 contributed to an 11.3 percent year-over-year increase in cargo traffic at Long Beach in 2013, while LA’s volume for the year declined by only 2.6 percent. The twin ports have invested billions of dollars in capital improvements to avoid losing shipping volume to East Coast ports following the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in late 2015. Nearer on the horizon, the West Coast longshoremen’s labor agreement will expire in June 2014, bringing elevated risk levels for port-related industrial users until the sides forge a new agreement. Nearly four years of positive absorption have filled portions of the Los Angeles Basin industrial market, with a vacancy rate of less than 3 percent in the San Gabriel Valley, Central L.A. and the South Bay submarkets. Other submarkets offer only slightly more vacancy, with Orange County topping the list at just over 4 percent. Average rents have been on the rise since the first quarter of 2011 and now top 50 cents per square foot in most submarkets, with landlords in the South Bay and Orange County quoting rent of 60 cents or more per square foot. More than half of the developed space in Los Angeles County and Orange County is 20 years old or older, creating some redevelopment opportunities, while a dearth of large, Class A distribution buildings is accelerating rent growth for that segment. Development activity is brisk with more than 20 million square feet under construction, but is unlikely to fully satisfy the growing demand for industrial space due to the limited availability of buildable sites and a faster pace of absorption.
To read more on Los Angeles and Long Beach, and other top industrial markets, download the full version of the Top Industrial Markets to Watch report below.
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