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Renters of warehouse space push vacancy rate lower than forecast

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Hotel occupancy and home prices are eking out gains this year on Oahu, and now another sign of an emerging economic recovery might be on hand: rising demand for warehouse space.

A report by local commercial real estate firm Colliers Monroe Friedlander shows that 201,207 square feet of empty warehouse space on Oahu was filled in the first half of the year.

If the trend continues, it would mean a rebound in the industrial real estate sector, which has seen occupancy decline over the last three years.

Colliers said the gain included 160,000 square feet of filled space in the first quarter, followed by another 40,000 square feet in the second quarter.

"The industrial market appears to be bottoming out," the company said in the report.

The rise in industrial space occupancy pushed the vacancy rate down to 4.1 percent at midyear from 4.8 percent at the end of last year.

At that time Colliers had predicted the rate would rise to 5 percent this year given the economic downturn, which has hurt construction, retail, tourism and other industries that rely on warehouse space.

The 4.1 percent rate equated to almost 1.6 million square feet of empty space out of 38.4 million square feet of total space.

 

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