Positive Industrial Momentum Carries Into 2019
Chicago's industrial market continued to impress through the first quarter of 2019, recording 115 new leases or lease expansions totaling 8.7 million square feet between January and March. This activity pushed the overall vacancy rate down four basis points to 6.3 percent, the lowest it has been since early 2001.
All market indicators were positive during the first quarter of 2019, including net absorption, which measured 3.7 million square feet for the period. A useful indicator of demand for space, net absorption has now been positive for the past 28 quarters in a row.
Logistics and transportation companies continued to expand footprints locally, many of which are providing solutions for e-commerce requirements. Of the 12 new leases or lease expansions greater than 200,000 square feet signed during the first quarter of 2019, six were third-party logistics providers.
Significant development activity continues, with greater than 16 million square feet expected to be delivered over the next six months, 69 percent of which is being built on a speculative basis.