North American Big-box Real Estate - Statistics & Facts

Industrial property is a type of commercial real estate that ranges from small lightly zoned buildings—commonly referred to as "flex" properties—to larger office/warehouse properties, to the enormously large "big box" industrial properties; typically retail establishments such as megastores and supercenters. In the United States, forecast for industrial vacancy rates projects a 6.7 percent increase in the first quarter of 2020. In the second quarter of 2017, Kansas City, MO and Fort Lauderdale, FL were the most profitable warehouse/distribution property markets in the United States.

Big-box buildings refers to large industrial buildings used for distribution. In North America as a whole, there were over four thousand big-box distribution centers in 2017 with a vacancy rate of around 6.9 percent, and existing space amounting to about two trillion square feet. The annual taking rent per square foot of big-box distribution space in North America stood at 4.36 U.S. dollars in 2017.

Inland Empire was by far the leading market for warehouse space under construction in the U.S. logistics sector in 2017. The southern Californian metropolitan area topped the list top with over 24.4 million square feet of warehouse space under construction as of the first quarter of 2017. Eastern Pennsylvania/Southern New Jersey was the second largest big-box market in North America and had 451 big-box buildings in 2017.

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 607 in 2017.

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