CBRE has released the Q4 2016 El Paso Industrial MarketView, which is available for download at cbre.com/researchgateway. Below is a summary of key Q4 highlights.
Absorption and vacancy: Positive net absorption for the second consecutive quarter, after a blip of negative net absorption in Q2 2016 (the first since the recovery began in early 2014). Leasing activity remained healthy in Q4 2016 and total 2016 market net absorption finished in positive territory. Overall industrial vacancy hovered steadily at 8.8%, the tightest annual vacancy in the current cycle.
Trade: The nominal and unadjusted value of export trade from the U.S. to Mexico through the El Paso-Santa Teresa ports of entry reached $35.0 billion year-to-date in October. This total is 2.2% above the same period last year. In terms of imports from Mexico to the U.S., the 2016 year-to-date total reached $44.0 billion, 4.4% above the same period last year.
Freight traffic: The most recent published data for northbound freight traffic from Mexico through the El Paso - Santa Teresa ports also show growth in July year-to-date totals compared to the year prior. While ports in El Paso saw a minor dip, -1.0%, in the 2016 year-to-date flow of trucks, crossings in Santa Teresa grew enough, 21.7%, to off-set and produce positive increases overall.
Users in the market: In terms of outlook, active users in the market increased, surpassing the strong net demand during the first half of 2016. Total requirements were slightly higher than the trailing five year average at 1,320,000 sq. ft. Of current users, roughly one-third were requirements introduced in the past 90 days.
Rental rates: The average asking industrial lease rate increased by $0.01 to $4.16 per sq. ft. in the fourth quarter of 2016. This pushed average rents up by $0.12 per sq. ft., or 3.0%, compared a year ago. During the same 12 month period, the U.S. city average - all item - Consumer Price Index (CPI, s.a.) increased by 1.6% and by 2.2% if we exclude food and energy prices.
Construction: Q4 2016 registered the start of two build-to-suit project, a warehouse in the Lower Valley and a cold storage facility in the West submarket. The projects are expected to be completed mid-2017 and will deliver roughly 300,000 sq. ft. of future net absorption. While not yet confirmed, additional construction projects are believed to be coming to El Paso's West and Lower Valley submarkets.
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