Net Absorption & Vacancy Rates
Statistically, Q2 2020 is showing the effects of COVID-19 on industrial leasing activity and the industrial market. Net absorption of vacant space during Q2 2020 was only 107,345 SF compared to 829,298 SF for Q2 2019. YTD net absorption for 2020 totals 330,369 SF compared to 1,587,669 SF in 2019.
The difference in the net absorption numbers (SF) between 2019 and 2020 is significant. However, the industrial market remains healthy as demonstrated by the overall industrial vacancy rate of 5.0% through the Q2 2019 and 4.8% through Q2 2020. More specifically, YTD industrial vacancy rates reflect the continued sound condition of the market by product type:
What is Influencing this Market Condition?
Two characteristics of the current market have significantly influenced the ongoing strong conditions of the industrial market: 1) Vacancy rates were at historical lows prior to the introduction of COVID-19 and, 2) Delivery of new industrial product to the market year-over-year has moderated. YTD Q2 2019 deliveries of new industrial product totaled 1,853,203 SF. While Q2 2020 new deliveries of industrial product totaled only 906,571 SF. The combination of less new development coming on line and limited negative absorption has enabled vacancy rates to remain low. Therefore, the overall market is in a state of good health.
Current expectations between landlords and tenants do seem to significantly differ. Tenants believe the industrial market has weakened and landlords are still very bullish on the market. A major reason for this difference in perception of the market has been the media’s reporting on the commercial real estate market. Retail and office space have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, so far in 2020. COVID-19 has had a very limited impact on new industrial lease terms and conditions, at least through Q2 2020. Limited net free rent, and tenant improvement packages, combined with strong net rates seems to be the story of the day for most industrial properties. The one exception to these healthy characteristics is office/flex/showroom product. Office/flex/showroom product still requires net free rent and significant improvement dollars generally to consume a new lease.
Hottest Industrial Market Segment
One of the brightest spots in the industrial market is User/Owner building sales. The limited supply of functional industrial properties currently available For Sale, combined with the low interest rate environment for debt, has pushed User/Owner building values to all time highs. Specifically, well-located properties receive multiple offers in many instances.
What is to Come
Finally, finding a vaccine that will make the current pandemic a thing of the past will remove much of the uncertainty existing today in the economy and the commercial/industrial real estate market. If the pandemic continues on into next year, the statistics and resulting story being told may be much different than it is today.
Written by: Phil Simonet, Principal
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) decreased 30 basis points to 3.1% for February 2020 from 3.4% for February 2019. The unemployment rate for the US was 3.5% in February 2020 down from 3.8% last year. State of Minnesota unemployment rate was 3.1%. The Mpls-St Paul MSA saw an increase in job growth but a decrease in office job growth in professional, financial and information dropping 1,200 during the same period.
The Mpls-St Paul office market, consisting of over 125 msf of space in seven counties across the metro topping 133,000 sf negative absorption for Q1 2020. The vacancy rate for the market stands at 12.0% for all properties. Multi- tenant properties posted 15.6% vacancy with over 48,800 sf positive absorption. The average asking lease rate for Mpls-St Paul came in at $24.59 psf FSG. During Q1 2020 there were 22 construction projects throughout the market totaling just shy of 2.9.
During the Q1 2020 the market experienced over 1.2 msf of leasing activity in 283 transactions. Class A properties vacancy rate started the year at 9.0% for all properties and 13.1% for multi-tenant properties. For multi-tenant properties the Northwest market posted the lowest vacancy rate at 9.7%, Mpls CBD vacancy was 16.2%, St Paul CBD was 20.5% and suburban markets was 14.4%. Mpls CBD Core market posted the most positive absorption of 141,000 sf with Merrill Corp lease of 78,000 sf topping the list. Southwest market posted the largest negative absorption of 182,000 sf for all property types primarily due to Comcast vacating 108,000 sf and Cliqstudios vacating 104,000 sf in a single tenant properties.
Employment: up 1,969,253
Area Unemployment: down 3.1
U.S. Unemployment: down 3.5
Office Jobs: down 516,60
Total Inventory: 126,158,494 sf
Asking Rate: $24.59
New Construction: 2,895,944 sf
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) decreased 30 basis points. This is 3.1% for February 2020 which is down from 3.4% for February 2019. The unemployment rate for the US was 3.5% in February 2020 down from 3.8% last year. State of Minnesota unemployment rate was 3.1%. The Mpls-St Paul MSA saw an increase in job growth but a decrease in industrial jobs in manufacturing dropping 400 during the same period.
The Mpls-St Paul industrial market consists of 258 msf in eight counties across the metro and posted over 223,000 sf of positive absorption for Q1 2020 while 184,000 sf positive absorption for multi-tenant properties. The overall vacancy rate for the market stands at 4.7% and multi-tenant vacancy was 7.4% for Q1 2020. The average asking lease low rate was $5.81 and high rate was $9.35 NNN for Mpls- St Paul. To date, there are 23 construction projects throughout the market totaling just under 3.7 msf and 5 properties were delivered this quarter with 575,902 sf.
At the close of Q1 2020, the market experienced over 2.2 msf of leasing activity in 194 transactions with AbelConn leasing the largest space of 110,329 sf in the Northwest market. The Southeast market vacancy rate being the tightest at 4.1% for all properties while the Northwest market topped at 6%. The Northeast market had four of the top five property spots in absorption with Bluvera leasing 93,000 sf, Hajoca leasing 75,845 sf and Lindenmeyr Munrow leasing 60,102 sf. The Northwest market experienced the largest vacancy of Honeywell with 250,000 sf. The Southwest market held the next two spots with Sams Club vacating 180,000 sf and Quad Graphics/ American Color vacating 160,000 sf.
Total Inventory: 258,482,636 sf
Total # of Bldgs: 3,004
Asking Rate Low: $5.81 NNN
Asking Rate High: $9.35 NNN
Under Construction: 3,728,557 sf
New Report by the Research Foundation
Office Space Demand Forecast:
Second Quarter 2016
Key report findings:
The national office market is forecast to absorb approximately 34.6 million square feet of space in 2016, down from 62.1 million square feet in 2015, as economic growth flattens in the U.S.
GDP growth, which slowed to 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, is forecast to remain low, near 1 to 2 percent annualized growth, with the lower boundary of the GDP forecast dipping into slightly negative territory.
The current forecast projects net absorption of office space to regain some strength in 2017, totaling approximately 46.2 million square feet. However, this figure could change, depending on how the economy fares throughout the rest of 2016.
Economic Flattening Points to Declining Demand for U.S. Office Space Through 2017
The national office market is forecast to absorb approximately 34.6 million square feet of space in 2016, down from 62.1 million square feet in 2015, as economic growth flattens in the U.S., according to Dr. Hany Guirguis, Manhattan College, and Dr. Joshua Harris, University of Central Florida. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth, which slowed to 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, is forecast by the model to remain low, near 1 to 2 percent annualized growth, with the lower boundary of the GDP forecast dipping into slightly negative territory. The current forecast projects net absorption of office space to regain some strength in 2017, totaling approximately 46.2 million square feet. However, this figure could change, depending on how the economy fares throughout the rest of 2016.
“Employment, both overall and in the office-using sectors, had maintained fairly steady growth until the most recent reading for April 2016, which registered only 160,000 net new jobs. This was well below the 200,000 jobs-per month threshold considered the minimum necessary for sustained economic growth,” says Harris. “We expect the overall declines in macroeconomic output to continue to result in lower employment gains for the rest of 2016.
Read more: Office Space Demand 2Q16
By: Dr. Joshua Harris, University of Central Florida and Dr. Hany Guirguis, Manhattan College