The Southern California industrial market has quickly adapted to the new pandemic-fueled market fundamentals with minimal impact. A new report from CBRE analyzed the industrial market activity in Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire, and found that activity declined only 3% compared to the same period in 2019 with a total of 40.5 million square feet.

"The Southern California industrial market was performing well pre-COVID and just took 30 days to adjust to the new reality," Kurt Strasmann, executive managing director at CBRE, tells "In quick order, the industrial markets rebounded, and regarding many of the metrics, COVID has actually improved market fundamentals across multiple fronts."

Ecommerce sales was the biggest driver of the industrial activity through the pandemic and resiliency of the asset class. "One of primary drivers was the necessary increase in online purchases.  Online sales in short order exploded, which in turn directly affects the demand for industrial space," says Strasmann. "Big box fulfillment and short-term warehousing demand from a board base of users has driven very strong market net absorption for new additional space as well as renewal transactions. We are seeing this trend continuing in the fourth quarter and into 2021. In addition to user demand, investor demand has been exceptionally strong as well, from both private and institutional investors."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.