Focusing on the Business Ahead

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By: Craig Jones, SIOR Craig headshot

It has been 25 years since I sat at that table.  I was maybe one hour post high school graduation and from where I was sitting, I could see the whole world in front of me.  The words my father told me still stick in my mind like it was last night: “Hold on and get ready.  Life is about to fly by.”  It seemed like an eternity getting to high school graduation. I was about to embark to college – it couldn’t really fly by that fast, could it?

Several years later, in the midst of my first year in the brokerage business, came more advice from my father: “When business is good, you’ll NEVER think it can get bad.  And when business is bad, you’ll NEVER think it can get good.”  (Who coined that phrase, “Father knows best?” Pretty smart indeed, Pops. Mom too, of course.)

It seems like time has flown by since our last “bad” market.  We are now six years into what has snowballed into a record market.  Vacancy still tugs toward record lows at 6.5% and rates are touching all-time highs.  With 24.3 M SF currently under construction and 28.7% being pre-leased or BTS, we are looking at what lies ahead for this year.  Currently we are tracking 22.6 M SF of active tenants in the market.  With the current Q1 absorption levels coming in at 3,910,409 SF, we are forecasting for a year end figure of about 16 million SF of overall absorption.

Rates again are rising this year at 3.5% and it appears to again be a strong, balanced market.  Forecasted long term vacancy looks to trickle up to close to 8% over the next 24 months.  But in the long term comparison of our market, still very much in line with our historic norms.

Even with all of the positive news and outlooks, there’s still that slight urge to peek over our shoulder to what could possibly loom.  Time does seem to fly by, but in the near term, I for one am staying on the positive side of my old man’s words of wisdom.

— Craig Jones is the Managing Director for JLL’s Industrial Group in Dallas, Texas.

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This post was originally written for the D Real Estate Daily blog.

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