The combined markets of Richmond and Norfolk consist of over 100 million square feet of big box properties 100,000 square feet and larger. The Port of Virginia (POV), currently the third-largest container port by TEU volume on the East Coast, provides a convenient and efficient connection between the eastern regions of the United States and the global supply chain.
Vacancy rates in the Richmond and Norfolk markets compressed to a near record rate during the first half of 2021 with a combined vacancy rate of 2.0%, down 8 basis points (bps) since H2 2020, and up only 12 bps from the record low vacancy rate of H1 2020. There has been 2.17 million square feet of positive net absorption over the past 12 months, with over 700,000 square feet of positive net absorption during H1 2021. Until additional speculative product can deliver to the market, this figure will continue to decrease, as most tenants are opting to renew in place until their needs can be met. Asking rents in the combined markets grew 18.2% year-over-year to $5.14 per square foot, the largest year-over-year rent change in recorded history for these markets.