The Dallas-Fort Worth area led the country in demand for warehouse space in the fourth quarter of 2016, with 5.3 million square feet of net leasing.
Nationwide, companies rented a record volume of warehouse, distribution and manufacturing space last year, according to commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Industrial building demand around the country during the last three years has topped all previous cycles for warehouse leasing, Cushman & Wakefield analysts said.

In D-FW and other markets, strong demand from e-commerce, retail and consumer products firms gobbled up industrial space.

“When consumers are confident, the industrial market benefits, and consumers ended the year upbeat with multiple measures of consumer confidence reaching cyclical highs,” Cushman & Wakefield’s Jason Tolliver said in a report. “Considering that consumer spending is a dominant driver of industrial demand, an optimistic U.S. consumer will be a boon to industrial leasing.”

U.S. companies rented 63.6 million square feet of warehouse space in the final three months of 2016.

After D-FW, the top markets for industrial space demand in the fourth quarter included Chicago and Houston with 4.1 million square feet, California’s Inland Empire with 3.6 million square feet and Atlanta with 3.5 million square feet.

Some of the biggest D-FW industrial leases and move-ins during the fourth quarter were signed by American Tire Distributors, Chewy.com, TriMark USA, Frontier Logistics, United Technologies and Amazon, Cushman & Wakefield reported.

“It was another great year for D-FW’s industrial market,” Cushman & Wakefield senior director Adam Hammack said. “Vacancy fell to record lows, and construction is taking place across all submarkets.”

Nationwide, 215.6 million square feet of industrial buildings are under construction, Cushman & Wakefield said. That includes over 17 million square feet in North Texas.

Total D-FW net warehouse leasing in 2016 was 23.7 million square feet, Cushman & Wakefield researchers said.

Top U.S. Warehouse Demand Markets
Net leasing in fourth quarter 2016 in million square feet.

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