The Northern California chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR) held its annual kick-off event in February via Zoom. Panel moderator, Paul Single, managing director, senior portfolio manager with City National Bank, provided insights into the anticipated recovery later this year. Panelists included Todd Berryhill, managing director of Scannell Properties; Travis Durfee, Prologis senior vice president, market officer; and Jim Terry, principal with Ware Malcomb.
Here are some of the highlights from the panel:
For housing, existing homes are the driving force and building permits have skyrocketed, Single said. In leisure and hospitality, the changes were most severe, with 8 million jobs lost.
Single predicted that the recovery will be K-shaped due to the recession. He pointed out that savings are up because earnings are up. Inflation is a “non-event” and the Fed will keep interest rates low, he predicted.
“Consumer spending is going strong but people are still uncomfortable going out,” Single said. “So online and at home items are top sellers. Prices are higher for paper products, cable, Internet and used cars.”
As a result, retail inventories are low and manufacturing is struggling to keep up.
“Those two-hour deliveries mean more facilities and building component costs are going up,” Berryhill said.
But while COVID has been challenging, it was still a record year for e-commerce, Durfee pointed out.
“With the e-commerce activity, Prologis is making a big shift to customer centricity,” he said. “This makes it easier for consumers. And, Bay Area industrial held its own, with Tracy showing huge rent growths.”
Terry concurred that there is no end in sight for e-commerce fulfillment and last-mile delivery facilities for Amazon and other users.
“Some facilities only handle 12 by 12 boxes while we are also seeing cold storage facilities being developed on spec,” he said. “Multi-level structures of two to five levels, while more prevalent on the East Coast, are making their way West, and some San Francisco buildings are being retrofitted.”