Vacancy rates are at all time lows. Absorption rates are at their highest and the “industrial sector has outperformed all other property types with double-digit total returns” according to the Integra Realty Resources 25th annual Viewpoint report covering the commercial real estate industry.
The obvious reason behind this surge in investor excitement about warehouses is the growth of e-commerce, but that’s not the only reason. Here are 4 not-so-obvious reasons why warehouses are hot investments right now.
#1: Asian Investors Spark Multi-Story Warehouse Trend
In China and Japan, investors have been producing multi-story warehouses for the last few years to support global and national logistics. The ability to load multiple trucks through the same warehouse and out the door is only now being tested in Seattle and San Francisco. Investors excited about the possibilities for last mile deliveries using multi-story warehousing is heating up interest.
#2: Businesses Compete for Logistical Space
Speaking of logistics – the international term for industrial warehousing – is creating new competition in secondary CRE markets. Demand for these assets is outpacing retail and office, and it is the CRE sector in highest demand worldwide. With cap rates as low as they are, secondary markets are proving to be viable options now that primary asset prices are on the rise, all in an effort to move goods and products faster.
#3: Foreign Investors Eye ECommerce-Ready Industrial Warehouses
U.S. investors only started eyeing industrial warehouse assets en masse a few years ago. Now foreign investors are getting in on the act, foregoing investments in status symbol sky rise buildings and offices and instead are looking to capitalize on e-commerce-ready warehouses; those most strategically placed for e-commerce as well as those equipped to process online orders rapidly and efficiently. Competition is coming from Asia but also countries like Canada and Germany are looking to invest in U.S. warehouse space.
#4: Fast Closes, Low Debt Assets Attract More Investors
According to one major investor, up to 70% of transactions involving industrial warehouses are cash deals. Cash deals close fastest and carry less debt. With all of the competition driving demand, buyers are using cash to get a leg up on competing bids. Unlike office and retail space where investors finance a large chunk of the costs over the long term, all cash deals are more attractive to investors who look for faster closes and are willing to take on less debt. Warehouses are providing that avenue for investments and investors of all types are seizing on it.