Dare We Say It? Northern Nevada’s Industrial Real Estate Market Turns the Corner
Since 2008, we have heard positive economic predictions that have flopped time and time again. The fallout of those sadly mistaken forecasts was that over the past few years, no one dared to make any “We’ve turned the corner!” predictions. Until now, that is, because northern Nevada’s industrial real estate market really has! Onto the proof:
Through 2013, we have had excellent market activity approaching record absorption rates. Certain market size segments are all but unavailable, with only two locations remaining for 200,000 sf and up, and nothing available for 400,000 sf and up. The ‘big box’ market segment has already experienced raising rents in the 15% range due to the final few transactions realizing supply/demand economics. Furthermore, next quarter has already logged in some substantial deals and we are looking for a sixth consecutive quarter of decreasing vacancy.
Another factor is that in previous quarters, positive absorptions were balanced by firms downsizing or moving out of the market. This had the effect of keeping the area’s net absorption rate modest, maintaining overall vacancy high and keeping rents low. The recent strong net absorptions are signs that overall economic recovery is gaining footing.
Another observation is the return of the midsized transaction, defined as the 30,000 to 60,000 sf sized user. I characterize these firms as the small to midsized firms with a base operation on the East Coast or in the Midwest. These firms have been servicing their West Coast clients via truck freight. Now we are seeing these firms coming back into the market to build their Western presence, cut freight costs and improve delivery times to their eleven Western state customers. I view it as a very positive sign that these smaller firms feel confident enough with their mid and long range business models to use resources to expand in this way.
The year is shaping up to the point that it should become the one we can point to and say, “After seeing the all-time market lows, 2013 saw the beginning stages of recovery in this economic cycle.” If the current trends continue, we should be seeing new industrial real estate ‘big box’ products built on speculation by early 2014. Rents should be able to bridge the gap to allow a reasonable return on investment, and we will be moving ahead to a balanced market where landlords are no longer required to be the last man standing to secure a lease transaction. And because all boats rise together on the tide, that’s the type of market that will benefit both landlords and tenants alike.