In October, Colliers hosted its annual National Industrial Conference (NIC) in Austin, TX, for approximately 600 industrial professionals, who gathered to connect, stimulate ideas and generate new solutions. After several insightful panels and breakout sessions, here are the standout data discoveries, common themes and emerging trends happening in industrial real estate.
The Difference a Year Makes
In their presentation, “What’s Ahead for Industrial Real Estate,” research experts Aaron Jodka and Amanda Ortiz dissected the leading factors influencing industrial’s performance. Of course, one of the largest influencers has been the economic environment in 2022.
Since last March, the 10-year Treasury rate has doubled, and then increased by an additional third, with rates hitting 4% in late September for the first time since 2008. Looking at August 2022 compared to August 2021, one can see the cracks emerge. Volume is down across asset types with industrial volume off 63%. Buyers have repriced deals, lenders have pulled back, and deals have fallen through, creating a liquidity challenge.
Even so, there are still strong industrial market fundamentals. Most recent data show strong volume and price growth across sectors with industrial leading with 25% growth. Two key themes within the capital markets are context and experience. Overall, attempting to benchmark against 2021 isn’t necessarily prudent, and that data and experience are out of sync in today’s market – while fundamentals are strong, today’s lending environment make it more difficult to transact.
On the Horizon
After years of unpredictability, it can be hard to know what’s around the corner for a sector as explosive as industrial. The NIC event, however, helped identify emerging trends and new directions the industry may be headed.
Monty Turner, Senior Vice President | Colliers Site Selection, states that in the coming year, it’s likely more companies will outsource their distribution, and reshoring and nearshoring will increase, especially in places like Mexico. Alternative industrial property types, like data centers and cold storage, will also be in higher demand in 2023.
According to Ascendia, an international e-commerce company, e-commerce spending has slowed in recent months but is expected toincrease 51%between 2022 and 2025, fueling the ongoing demand amid occupiers for space. Head of Supply Chain Solutions, Brewster Smith, presented crucial insight into the increasing utilization of warehouse robotics and automation driven by factors such as labor scarcity, cost reduction, and changes in productivity requirements. During the Occupiers Panel, speakers noted that increasing throughput through automation is happening and is picking up steam. NFI shared their upcoming strategy to implement STRETCH robots to help unload trailers and containers where the product isn’t palletized.
Industrial is better positioned than other asset classes. Investors have shifted their focus to this sector, with more than 20% of volume since 2019 allocated to industrial, a figure that is up from 15% in 2009-2017.
Want to Gain the Edge? Add Value
At the Logistics & Transportation Solutions pre-conference, keynote speaker David Pierce, the Head Baseball Coach from University of Texas, shared that he asks himself what value he can bring to the team. In the same vein, NIC keynote speaker Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank stressed: “if you add value, people will reward you.”
The industrial sector is in a pivotal season. After more than two years of acceleration, competition and evolution, economic uncertainty and ongoing supply disruptions continue to transform real estate’s leading asset class. With today’s current market conditions, it’s more important than ever to gain the edge.
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