Unlike office spaces, the industrial sector wasn’t particularly negatively affected by the pandemic. People still needed warehouses and manufacturing sites, perhaps even more than before. Indeed, the vacancy rate actually started dropping since the lockdowns, the beginning of which was the peak point in recent years. In most areas of Southern California, the vacancy rate for industrial leases reached its lowest point in the first half of this year. Since then, vacancy rates are starting to edge back up, but are still far below the pre-pandemic peak.
In San Diego County, the industrial vacancy rate increased from 2.00% to 2.56% between Q2 of 2022 and Q3 of 2022. The peak was just above 5% in Q2 2020. In Los Angeles County, the increase was from 1.11% to 1.68%, with a peak of 3.17% at the start of the pandemic. Despite the Inland Empire’s very low vacancy rate of 0.88%, it’s actually higher than the Q1 and Q2 numbers. But it’s nothing compared to the pre-pandemic vacancy rate of 3.92%. Orange County is an exception — the industrial vacancy rate has actually continued to decrease, from 1.23% in Q2 2022 to 1.05% in Q3 2022. Its peak was also later, in Q3 2020, at which point it was 3.1%.