The industrial market finished the fourth quarter on a very strong note, bringing the total absorption for the year to over 4 million square feet. Columbus recorded positive absorption in all four quarters in 2017, pushing the vacancy rate down to 4.16 percent. Robust absorption numbers are a direct effect from strong leasing activity, which topped 7 million square feet for the year. Overall asking rates posted another uptick to $3.51 per square foot – a $0.08 increase from the previous quarter. Warehouse distribution properties saw the greatest increase this quarter to $3.13 per square foot.
The e-commerce and logistic firms continue to strongly influence the Columbus industrial market. Construction numbers have also seen a healthy increase throughout the year. Columbus posted over 3.5 million square feet under construction this quarter. Of the 3.5 million, 1.88 million square feet is speculative development, further proving the high demand for space in Columbus. The unemployment rate in Central Ohio has seen significant declines because of the increasing job opportunity and need for skilled workers. Currently, the Columbus unemployment rate stands at 3.7%, which is well below the national unemployment rate of 4.1%. Looking forward, economists predict Columbus will continue to flourish as investors and businesses want to get a piece of this growing logistics hub.