The North American industrial market saw a bit of a slowdown in 2019 coming off a banner year in 2018. But what’s in store for 2020-2021? With the continued support of tailwinds like technology, eCommerce, AI, blockchain, and the ongoing tensions with international trade, it is safe to say the next couple years will be anything but boring for the North American industrial market.
2019 was the year that the pop-up store "popped out." Digital natives going bricks-and-mortar; an explosion of local entrepreneurism; the rise of upstart brands; a new launching pad for global retailers, and so much more—these are all examples of the types of pop-up trends we are seeing in retail.
Transaction activity accelerated in the third quarter of 2019 to $141.9B—up 9% quarter-over-quarter. Third quarter volume was down 8% compared to a year ago, but Q3 2019 was still the second strongest third quarter on record for transaction volume.
U.S. multifamily volume growth eased in the third quarter, following a strong second quarter. Transaction volume declined 12.1% year-over-year. However, YTD, investors deployed capital in multifamily assets to the tune of more than $122 billion, a 5.2% increase over the same period in 2018.
Consumers' Rising Influence, Investors Still Buying
Current economic indicators bode well for the healthcare sector. While medical office market indicators have slowed in the past twelve months compared to previous years, 2020 looks to be another strong year for healthcare real estate. Healthcare providers and investors should capitalize on the positive outlook and sector growth by continuing their shift toward consumer-friendly care delivery and prioritizing accommodations to new regulations.
The U.S. economy continued to grow at a steady pace in the third quarter of 2019, adding approximately 470,000 new jobs, of which 140,000 were in the key office-using sectors. Consumer confidence, while off recent highs, remains solid indicating shoppers are still optimistic. As of September, the unemployment rate is at 3.5%—the lowest since 1969.
The U.S. economy officially began its 11th consecutive year of growth in the second half of 2019, a new record for the longest economic expansion in history. The economy continued to add jobs during the first six months of 2019, although the pace of job growth has slowed from last year. Consumer confidence, while still high, has fluctuated since the beginning of the year—due in part to global economic concerns and trade disputes. Real GDP grew by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, 90 bps higher than the 2.2% growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2018. Cushman & Wakefield forecasts 2019 real GDP growth will be in the mid-2% range—a healthy backdrop for commercial real estate.