Demonstrating resilience amongst the economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. industrial market further accelerated through the first three quarters of 2020, primarily due to sustained growth in demand from e-commerce. In the third quarter, this market absorbed 62.1 million square feet (msf), the strongest quarter this year and the year-to-date total of more than 159 msf of absorption, a 0.7% decrease from the more than 160 msf reported through third quarter 2019.
Currently, the U.S. market is on pace to close 2020 with more than 500 msf of new leasing activity seen for the sixth consecutive year. More than half of the U.S. markets tracked by Cushman & Wakefield posted year-over-year increases in new leasing activity. A key driver stimulating this level of activity are digital sales, which generated a continued increase in e-commerce leasing, as well as third-party logistics providers occupying warehouse/distribution space.