Report | Future Cities

2022 North America Industrial Big Box Review & Outlook

11 Mar 2022 60 Minute Read

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Explore Industrial Big Box Insights by Market

North America Overview

For the second consecutive year, the North America industrial & logistics market had record performance in 2021 as strong economic growth led to sizeable job gains and increased retail sales. Occupiers leased an unprecedented amount of industrial space to serve a rapidly growing online consumer base and increase safety stock to counter supply chain disruptions over the past year. All sizes and types of industrial real estate performed well in 2021 but none more so than the big-box sector.

An industrial big-box facility is a warehouse/distribution center of 200,000 sq. ft or more. A diverse set of occupiers increased their presence in big-box facilities last year to serve growing populations, be near expanded logistics hubs and take advantage of new government incentive programs.

General retailers and wholesalers leased more big-box facilities than ever before, while third party logistics providers (3PLs) expanded in logistics-hub markets to better serve their growing customer base. This demand led to 450 million sq. ft. of leasing activity, annual rent growth of 16%, 195 million sq. ft. of new construction and a direct vacancy rate of just 3.4%. All of these fundamentals led to record-low industrial cap rates.

Another strong year of industrial market performance is expected in 2022. Occupiers will remain focused on increasing their big-box space to service a growing online consumer base, hold more inventory, locate near more ports of entry and, in an emerging trend, expand near growing domestic manufacturing operations.

This report provides an in-depth overview of supply-and demand fundamentals, demographics, logistics drivers, labor and location incentives for the top 23 core, gateway and emerging markets in North America. The interactive format allows readers to engage with the data and analysis in a way that best suits their needs and preferences.

Experts Weigh In

Hillwood Investment Properties’ Amy Curry and CBRE’s James Breeze, John Morris, Traci Payette and Barbara Perrier share their perspectives on key drivers of 2021’s record big-box leasing activity, capital markets trends and the outlook for 2022.

Figure 1: North America Leasing Activity

Note: Includes new leases and renewals 200,000 sq. ft. and above in the markets tracked in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 2: Share of North America 2021 Leasing Activity by Occupier Type

Note: Includes new leases and renewals 200,000 sq. ft. and above in the markets tracked in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 3: North America Market Statistics

Note: Statistics only include markets tracked in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 4: North America Under Construction vs. Preleased

Note: Statistics only include markets tracked in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 5: North America Top 10 Rankings

Source: CBRE Research.

Explore Big Box Insights by Market

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