Cleveland industrial real estate market reports

Q2 2021

Cleveland’s industrial sector showed continued resilience during the first half of 2021, with vacancy at 5.3%, only increasing 40 basis points during the pandemic. Developers continue to push forward with new projects to satisfy demand from industrial users, bringing the total square footage under construction to 2 msf.



Cleveland metropolitan unemployment rate as of May 2021, settling at above average for past eight years

Historically tightened labor market conditions were halted by the pandemic with over 230,000 job losses between February and May 2020. However, reopening efforts enabled the economy to add 23.6% jobs since May 2020.


Change in total employment during the pandemic

The Cleveland metro area lost 5.1% of its total labor force since the pandemic began, though industrial losses were comparatively subdued. Industrial job gains in recent months demonstrates that a significant recovery is likely in that sector in the near-term.


Change in industrial-centric employment during the pandemic

The Cleveland metro area lost 4.5% of industrial employment since the pandemic began, as evidenced by a sharp decline in jobs early in 2020. However, in the past 12 months, the market has recovered 1.4% of those losses, largely in the construction sector.


Share of total Cleveland MSA population that is fully vaccinated

Cleveland proportionate vaccination rates continue to outweigh U.S. averages as state and local regulations have remained at ease.


2020-pro-rated 2021 vs. prior 20-year annual average leasing activity

Leasing velocity has dipped from 2020 near-record highs but remains on pace with pre-pandemic levels.


Net absorption as a percentage of inventory, 2020 through Q2 2021

Absorption through mid-year remains quite low and on pace with levels following the Great Recession. With few new developments underway and little speculative supply, this low absorption trend is expected for the remainder of 2021.

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