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The availability of industrial real estate across the U.S. declined slightly in the first quarter, according to real-estate brokerage firm CBRE Group Inc., the latest signal that a market driven by fast-growing demand for e-commerce fulfillment is getting close to balance.
The availability rate — which includes properties that are vacant or will soon be vacant — fell less than one-tenth of a percentage point over each quarter in the past year and a half, reaching 7.3 percent in U.S. markets during the first quarter of 2018, according to CBRE. By contrast, from late 2012 to late 2016, availability fell much more steeply, dropping more than two-tenths of a percentage point on average every quarter.
CBRE said warehouse developers have been putting up buildings at a faster pace, and are coming closer to meeting overall demand. In the first quarter of 2018, CBRE reported net demand of 41 million square feet, which was 6 million square feet beyond the 35 million square feet of new completions.
“In some ways, the market is closer in equilibrium,” said Tim Savage, senior managing economist for CBRE. “We’re not seeing demand outpacing supply, because supply has basically caught up.”
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