The Tampa Bay metro area industrial market maintained consistent positive performance throughout the third quarter. At quarter’s end, the overall vacancy rate of 4.8% held steady from the previous quarter and continues to remain among the lowest recorded rates in history. Year-to-date, the decline in vacancy was due to the absorption of approximately 4.7M sq. ft. of space occupied by tenants. Absorption increased by 35.2% over the first three-quarters of last year and was on par with pre-pandemic levels two years ago. Increased absorption was partly due to the high leasing velocity, especially in industrial space, which accounted for 80% of activity in the market.
During the quarter, just over one million square feet of industrial product was delivered to the market, bringing the year-to-date total to 2.4 million square feet. Over the past 10 years, new industrial development has accounted for just over 13% of the total market inventory. And with 7.4M sq. ft. under construction, a significant wave of completions over the next four quarters will soon be upon us, indicating strong confidence in the market’s future.
Industrial sales, driven by a mix of private, institutional and owner-user sales, was up 24.7% from a year-to-date comparison to 2020, when investors paused due to the market’s volatility because of the pandemic. Impressively, year-to-date investment sales were also 39.7% higher than the same time period in 2018, prior to the impacts of the pandemic.