Q1 2016 Houston Industrial Market Research Report
Houston’s industrial market continues to expand - 11M SF currently under construction
During the first quarter of this year, 1.4M SF of Houston’s industrial inventory was absorbed, substantially more than the 0.3M SF absorbed in the previous quarter. Houston’s industrial market, however, shows signs of slowing due to the downturn in the local economy caused by falling oil prices. Industrial leasing activity dropped by almost 50% over the quarter to 3.6M SF from 7.1M SF in Q4 2015. The average vacancy rate increased by 30 basis points over the quarter to 5.4% from 5.1% in Q4 2015. Almost 65% of the 3.2M SF of new construction delivered in Q1 2016 was pre-leased and 63% of the 11.0M SF under construction is pre-leased. The space under construction is only 2% of the total industrial space existing in the Houston market today.
The average citywide quoted industrial rental rate decreased 2.4% between quarters to $6.88 per SF NNN from $7.05 per SF NNN in Q4 2015.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Houston metropolitan area created only 9,000 jobs (not seasonally adjusted) between February 2015 and February 2016, about half of the annual long-term average. Most of the job growth occurred in the government sector, followed by construction and health care.
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