After a challenging 2020, retail market conditions improved in the first quarter of 2021. As the quarter unfolded, government stimulus payments were distributed and vaccinations accelerated, shoppers became more active and the retail sector began to improve.
The U.S. industrial market started 2021 stronger than expected with demand outpacing supply for the first time since Q2 2019. In fact, in the first quarter alone, the market absorbed 82.3 million square feet (msf), which is the most space ever absorbed in a first quarter of any year reported by Cushman & Wakefield—up 78.2% over the 46.2 msf reported in Q1 2020.
As is the case with any product type that serves to bring people together, the U.S. office sector continues to struggle amid a global pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021, U.S. net absorption registered -41.1 million square feet (msf)—a level that is on par with the negative absorption recorded in the two previous quarters. Since COVID-19 was officially classified as a global pandemic last March, the U.S. has shed a total of 138.4 msf of office space.
Boise was recently listed #1 in population growth in a recent release of the Cushman & Wakefield MarketBeat publication. According to HireAHelper there has been 194% more people moving into than out of Idaho since 2019. That comes as no surprise for those of us in the market.
Leasing activity increased dramatically in the first quarter of 2021. There are a number of large tenants (10,000 square feet +) seeking space in the downtown Boise market. While tenants are back in the market, they are being very deliberate to finalize leases as they contemplate what their workforce and office needs will be moving forward.
The Idaho industrial market continues its high velocity growth path, with annual new construction coming in just above 3.4 million
square feet (msf), with a large majority from the Amazon facility constructed in Q4 and just 115,000 square feet finishing construction in Q1 of this year.
Boise’s continued growth is creating a commercial real estate level of activity that is a beacon of hope for the future of our industry and for Idaho. Despite some examples of struggling retailers, there are countless more retailers who are capitalizing on the growth and predicted explosion of the population of Idaho.