29 March 2012

Industrial warehouse rents in Tokyo were ranked the most expensive worldwide while Hong Kong and Singapore came as the third and fourth most expensive at the end of 2011, according to the Global Industrial Highlights recently released by Colliers International. London – Heathrow and Zurich are the other two markets in the top five.

Global Top Five Industrial Warehouse Rents in December 2011


Rent (USD/SF/Year)

6-Month Change

(Local Currency,%)




London – Heathrow



Hong Kong










Tokyo's warehouse rents continued to top the world despite a fall of 3.0% in the second half of 2011. In Hong Kong, warehouse rents rose 8.1% in the last six months of 2011, the strongest growth amongst the top 10 markets, while Singapore also registered a notable increase of 6.8%.
The warehouse rental growth spike in Hong Kong is largely attributable to the limited stock availability situation currently enveloping Hong Kong, says Simon Lo, Executive Director of Research & Advisory, Asia at Colliers International. “On top, Hong Kong has also been receiving heavy interest by both overseas and local logistics operators following the government’s initiative to re-vitalise industrial buildings in Kowloon East. Prime warehouse premises with ramp access are the current hot favourites.”

On the forecast for the coming months, Lo retained a cautious tone with a forecast of 4% reduction in industrial rents on the premise that end-users will likely adopt a more prudent outlook amidst mixed global sentiments that will create the downward adjustment pressure on rents.

Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, almost every market recorded a drop in warehouse vacancies in the second half of 2011. In addition, prime warehouse rents grew in more than half of the markets, amongst which observers in over 50% of them expect warehouse rents to rise further in the next six months.

In North America, after hitting peak rates in 2010, warehouse vacancy rate dropped to 9.72% in 4Q 2011 due to the growth of manufacturing and distribution industry.

Looking ahead, the outlook on global warehouse market trends positive. The International Monetary Fund recently forecasted that global trade volume would rise by 3.8% and 5.4% in 2012 and 2013, respectively, despite downward adjusted economic growth. Thus, greater demand for warehouse space is expected with the rising global trade. As warehouse rents in the majority of Asia Pacific and North American markets in 2011 were higher compared to the previous year, Colliers expects this rising trend to continue in most markets of these two regions in the coming year.