With the coronavirus crisis accelerating the growth of eCommerce, there is a strong demand for big-box industrial properties, which are usually used as distribution centers. In North America as a whole, there rouphly 5,700 big-box distribution centers in the first half of 2020 with a vacancy rate of around 8.4 percent, and existing space amounting to about 2.6 trillion square feet. The annual taking rent per square foot of big-box distribution space in North America stood at approximately 5.3 U.S. dollars in 2020.
Absorption rate is the net change in occupied space over a given period of time and is an easy way to measure leasing activity. Inland Empire, California, and Dallas-Fortworth, Texas, are two of the leading industrial real estate leasing markets in the U.S. with net absorption rate of over 24 million square feet as of 2019. Looking at the proportion of net absorption to the existing inventory, Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC, and Central Valley, CA, were among the fastest growing markets in 2020.
The Greater Toronto Area is home to the third largest big-box market in North America. The number of big-box buildings in Toronto reached 629 in the first half of 2020.