by Dan Rafter
Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield is sharing some good news: U.S. industrial vacancy rates are now at their lowest level in nearly 14 years.
According to Cushman & Wakefield, the overall industrial vacancy rate in the United States fell to 6.8 percent at the end of 2014. That is the lowest this figure has been since the first quarter of 2001.
Vacancies fell 70 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2014 when compared to the same quarter one year earlier. They were down an impressive 400 basis points from their peak of 10.8 percent in early 2010.
And the numbers get even better. Cushman & Wakefield reported that the U.S. industrial market saw 340.3 million square feet of leasing activity in 2014, a jump of 3.6 percent from 2013. That was the most industrial leasing activity in the country since 2005.
Chicago saw the second-highest amount of industrial leasing activity last year, 35.5 million square feet, trailing only Los Angeles.
Expect more industrial space to enter the U.S. market this year. Cushman & Wakefield reported that 105.1 million square feet of industrial inventory is now under consruction in the country, with 70 million square feet of this space being spec projects.
John Morris, leader of industrial services for the Americas for Cushman & Wakefield, said that must of the expansion of the industrial market has been driven by an improving economy, expansion of e-commerce activity and the growth of domestic manufacturing.
“In almost every market, industrial property demand continues to surpass supply,” Morris said, in a written statement.