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  • Writer's pictureEdison Vasquez

Why Invest in Warehouse Space During a Recession

The Industrial Real Estate Team at ComReal

The commercial real estate market always ebbs and flows, industrial real estate is no exception, but over the past year, activity has begun to slow down. With interest rates on the rise, it has become even more challenging for some deals to pencil out.

However, investing in warehouses and other industrial properties can be a strategic move during a recession. Of course all depends on the investor’s timing, risk tolerance, investment goals, and the specific market conditions during the recession.


Here are some factors to consider when contemplating industrial property investment during a recession:


Pros of Investing in Industrial Property During a Recession:

·       Resilience: Industrial real estate tends to be more resilient during economic downturns compared to other property types like office or retail. Demand for warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities often remains stable because these properties are essential for various industries.

·       E-commerce Growth: The growth of e-commerce has increased demand for industrial properties, especially for last-mile distribution centers. During a recession, the demand for online shopping may even rise, further supporting the industrial sector.

·       Potential Bargains: Recessions can lead to decreased property prices and increased motivation among sellers. This can create opportunities for investors to acquire industrial properties at a lower cost or with favorable terms.

·       Income Stability: Industrial leases often have longer terms and stable rental income streams. This can provide a reliable source of cash flow, which can be attractive during economic uncertainty.

·       Maintenance: Industrial properties tend require less maintenance than retail and office spaces. Additional, industrial properties require less capital improvements over time, compares to office and retail.

With interest rates on the rise, it has become even more challenging for some deals to pencil out.


Cons and Considerations of Investing in Industrial Property During a Recession:

·       Tenant Stability: While industrial real estate is generally more stable, some tenants may be vulnerable during a recession, especially those in cyclical industries. Landlords should sssess the financial stability of tenants carefully.

·       Market Location: The performance of industrial properties can vary by location. Some areas may experience stronger demand due to strategic logistics or economic factors, while others may face challenges. For example, South Florida has large population and limited land so industrial properties will do well over time here.

·       Financing: Obtaining financing during a recession can be more challenging, and interest rates may vary. Investors should always look to secure financing at favorable terms.

·       Leasing Challenges: Finding and retaining tenants may be more difficult during economic downturns. Be prepared for longer potential vacancy periods and the associated costs.

·       Economic Outlook: Consider the broader economic outlook and the specific reasons for the recession. Recessions caused by external shocks, national and international, may have different implications for industrial real estate than cyclical recessions.

·       Diversification: Investors should diversity investment portfolio to mitigate risk. From location to different asset classes. Don't over-concentrate in one asset class or property type, even if industrial real estate appears attractive.

·       Exit Strategy: Have a clear exit strategy in mind. Investors should determine whether plan to hold the property long-term, sell it when the market recovers, or adapt it for a different use if necessary.

Investing in warehouses and other industrial properties can be a smart long-term decision, as these assets tend to perform well during economic downturns.


 Are Warehouses Recession Resilient?

Warehouses and industrial properties are generally considered more recession-resilient compared to some other types of commercial real estate, such as office or retail properties. Several factors contribute to this resilience:


·       Essential Functionality: Warehouses serve essential functions in supply chains and logistics. They store and distribute goods, including food, medical supplies, and other critical items. As long as goods need to be stored and transported, there will be demand for warehouse space.

·       Supply Chain Resilience: Many businesses are focused on strengthening their supply chains to enhance resilience. This can involve holding more inventory in strategic locations, which drives demand for warehousing.

·       Shorter Leasing Terms: Warehouse leases often have shorter terms compared to office or retail leases. This flexibility allows tenants and landlords to adjust more quickly to changing market conditions.

·       Diverse Tenant Base: Industrial properties typically have a diverse tenant base, including manufacturers, distributors, logistics companies, and retailers. This diversity can help spread risk and mitigate the impact of economic downturns.

·       Stability of Triple Net Leases: Some industrial leases, particularly triple net leases, require tenants to cover property expenses, including property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. This stability can provide a reliable income stream for property owners, even during economic downturns.

·       Adaptability: Industrial properties can often be adapted for various uses. For example, a warehouse may be repurposed as a distribution center, last-mile delivery hub, or manufacturing facility based on changing market demands.


In summary, investing in warehouses and other industrial properties can be a smart long-term decision, as these assets tend to perform well during economic downturns. Consulting with real estate professionals, real estate attorney and financial advisors can provide valuable insights to make an informed decision.


The Industrial Team at ComReal specializes on the industrial properties in South Florida. For over 40 years, out team has help users and investors located the right industrial property. Contact us for more information on the market and our industrial properties.

The Industrial Real Estate Team at ComReal

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