E-commerce fuels industrial real estate market in Q3, CBRE report finds

Industrial real estate remained a booming sector despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest Northeast U.S. Logistics Marketview Snapshot from real estate firm CBRE.

The firm said that, through three quarters of 2020, net absorption in the Northeast Corridor nearly reached the total for all of 2019 — just 2.3 million square feet shy — while construction completions were on pace to easily top 2019 levels.

Pandemic-related shutdowns dampened demand for office and retail product nationwide, CBRE noted, but unprecedented online shopping growth led to significant leasing activity from e-commerce companies, particularly near urban areas such as the New York and Philadelphia regions.

Overall asking rents dipped slightly quarter-over-quarter, the firm noted, but were up year-over-year, especially in markets further from New York City. And, while overall construction activity dipped during the quarter, nearly 40% of what’s being built is already leased — suggesting continued demand ahead.

Construction is most active in the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania regions, CBRE said.