The industrial sector is booming. 40 million SF more space has been leased than vacated over the past year in the Chicago industrial market, nearly double the previous record for absorption. Chicago-area vacancy is just 4.4% overall. From Q1 2020, industrial prices are up 30% and industrial rents are up 20%.
Retail monthly leasing activity has exceeded its historical average for 14 of the past 15 months. In-store retail sales in April 2022 were 23.6% above the same period in 2019. Real consumer spending on services has now returned to pre-pandemic levels. As of May 2022, weekend foot traffic is now within 4% of its 2019 baseline.
A nationwide housing shortage, seen particularly in large urban areas, will result in solid rent growth over the next two years, with apartment rents expected to keep rising by more than 10%. That trend could bode well for commercial investors looking into land development, given the scarcity of developed residential lots in many regions.
Office use is at a post-pandemic high, according to security tracker data. But most major cities have yet to reach 50% of pre-pandemic office attendance. There has been a 24% increase in the number of offices being converted into residential properties in the last year.