The first half of the nine-year bull market in U.S. logistics warehousing was marked by a dearth of “speculative development,” in which buildings go up based on faith in market demand and not on commitments from specific customers.
Spec activity froze up during the Great Recession, and didn’t pick up even after the smoke initially cleared. This would spawn the start of a powerful rise in asking rents, a trend that accelerated after 2012 once it became clear e-commerce demand was not cyclical.
The latter half of the bull story, by contrast, has been punctuated by a surge in development, which doesn’t appear close to cresting. Still, asking rents continue to climb, approaching $6 a square foot across the nation, and higher than that in the sizzling markets of the East and West Coasts, Atlanta and central Pennsylvania. In fact, the need for space to meet e-fulfillment needs is so strong that demand may blow by even the large volume of supply entering the market.