Chicago industrial real estate market reports

Q2 2021

The Chicago industrial market continues to boom as unemployment rates decline and the occupancy recovery index trends on a strong positive trajectory with local vaccination rates surpassing the national average. Overall leasing activity has sustained throughout the pandemic and net absorption is keeping pace with new deliveries.  In fact, developers are racing to keep up as there are currently 15 properties larger than 750,000 sf under construction. Building on continued growth since 2015, base rents have increased by more than 10% since the start of COVID. This positive growth has continued to spur an investment rush for industrial properties across the Chicagoland area.


Economic conditions

Essential workers, a logistics hub and a sharp but entrenched rise in e-commerce spending have helped bring Chicago unemployment figures down to 7.4 percent. Other supply chain shocks throughout 2021 have done little to impede growth in leasing fundamentals, especially for Class A space.


Job growth

Local employment in Transportation, warehousing & utilities rose by 76,200 jobs year-to-date as of May, the second-highest job growth by sector following the harder-hurt Leisure & Hospitality industry.



Recovery rate

The Chicago metropolitan area began to reopen in the second quarter, as vaccination rates surpassed the national average to 47.5 percent.



Return to office

As office workers across the metropolitan area just now begin to return to the office, the industrial workforce has grown by 3.1 percent since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020.


Industrial investment

Chicago industrial investment activity surges to $4.4B since 2020 as investors are attracted to the sector fundamentals largely benefited from the COVID environment.




Net absorption is keeping pace with new deliveries as construction ramps back up, accounting for 95.4 percent of newly-built space.


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