Robust Leasing Activity Drops Vacancy Rate

Chicago's industrial market recorded 8.6 million square feet of new leasing activity (new leases and lease expansions) during the second quarter of 2018, the greatest quarterly total since 2015. Following a period of weaker leasing activity and few big-box leases over 300,000 square feet in 2017, activity has ramped up again. Six leases greater than 300,000 square feet were signed during the second quarter of 2018 alone.

As a result, the industrial vacancy rate decreased by an impressive 23 basis points between April and June to 6.44 percent, the lowest rate recorded since 2001.

Net absorption during the second quarter of 2018 totaled 6.1 million square feet, bringing the tally for the first half of the year to 10.6 million square feet. While this is above the 9.9 million square feet of net absorption recorded during the first half of 2017, it remains below the 14.3 million square feet measured during the first half of 2016.

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