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Midsize Tenants Dominate Demand for Industrial Space

E-commerce and last-mile logistics tenants in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – are fueling additional demand for expansion in the U.S. and spurring midsize space users to dominate the industrial market.

Midsize industrial tenants – those who occupy 50,000-sq.-ft. to 300,000-sq.-ft. boxes – are driving industrial demand in various segments of the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate market, according to a report from real estate services firm Avison Young in a recent issue of National Real Estate Investor magazine.

For example, between January 2017 to June 2019, tenants in Chicago signed 872 industrial leases totaling 97.3 million sq. ft., with an average size of 111,629 sq. ft. Tenants in Atlanta signed 320 industrial leases totaling 36.2 million sq. ft., with an average size of 113,243 sq. ft. Dallas tenants signed 490 leases totaling 52.5 million sq. ft., with an average size of 107,265 sq. ft. Tenants in Indianapolis signed 41 leases totaling 52.5 million sq. ft., with an average size of 146,341 sq. ft., according to Avison Young.

This CoStar Realty Information Inc. report involving U.S. and Philadelphia commercial properties is being made through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

“[Midsize users] do dominate the market,” says Brooks Staley, senior consultant with The CoStar Group, a research firm dealing with market metrics dealing with U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings. “There are a lot more users who are looking for space in that kind of sweet spot than those who are looking for big boxes.”

For example, in Indiana, demand for midsize industrial space is booming, but the supply is scarce. As of mid-June 2019, there were 12 speculative industrial buildings of 250,000 sq. ft. or less being developed in Central Indiana, totaling 2.1 million sq. ft. In the state’s southern submarket, there is, however, only one midsize space available, a 70,400-sq.-ft. property in Greenwood.

Florida’s industrial markets also are showing growth among midsize users. Orlando tenants signed 68 industrial leases totaling 7.3 million sq. ft., with an average deal size of 108,095 sq. ft. Tampa Bay tenants signed 53 industrial leases totaling 5.0 million sq. ft., with an average deal size of 94,333 sq. ft. Jacksonville tenants signed 61 leases totaling 7.0 million sq. ft., with an average deal size of 114,590 sq. ft.

The growth in e-commerce and the need for last-mile delivery throughout national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties has only strengthened the demand for midsize industrial boxes. At the end of June 2019, pricing for these types of assets averaged $68.71 per sq. ft., with around $4.7 billion in sales volume, according to CoStar data. At the end of June 2018, prices averaged $59.08 per sq. ft., with $7.7 billion in sales volume. In June 2017, pricing in the sector was at $59.56 per sq. ft., with $7.3 billion in sales volume.

“You can see that there’s been a pretty steady acceleration of pricing at 300,000 square feet and below. The same goes for larger sizes as well,” says Staley. “Industrial is the hot property type to be in right now, and that makes sense because of the tailwinds we’re seeing from e-commerce, from how all sorts of retailers are looking at their supply chain. We’re going to see pricing boosts for both midsize and large boxes.”

But despite strong demand and rising prices for midsize industrial facilities, investment sales activity in in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – is decelerating. In June 2019, there were 639 deals closed in the sector. In June 2017 and 2018, there were 1,121 and 1,197 deals, respectively. Staley says this drop stems from investors choosing to invest in ground-up construction to dodge rising prices on existing properties.

“We’ve done analysis that shows a lot more players in the industrial space actually are turning to development rather than acquisition in order to make returns,” says Staley. “[Pricing has] gotten so frothy in the marketplace that players are backing off or they’re saying, ‘We can develop. We can scrape a site and develop something.’ That would be the best shot at getting good returns.”

The same story is happening for large industrial facilities, or boxes with more than 300,000 sq. ft. In June 2017, pricing among such national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings reached $48.18 per sq. ft., with around $3.2 billion in sales volume. By June 2019, prices climbed to an average of $76.20 per sq. ft., but with around $3.9 billion in sales volume.

“We would expect at the moment, because of pricing trends among all size ranges, that price appreciation will maybe stagnate a little bit as deals begin to dry up,” says Staley. “People are little bit leery of overpaying this late cycle.” – By Sebastian Obando; CoStar Realty Information Inc.

For more information about Philly office space, Philly retail space, and Philly industrial space or other Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly office space, Philly retail space or Philly industrial space with the Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for Philly office space, Philly retail space or Philly industrial space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need – a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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