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What is CompStak One and how does it empower CRE analysis?

CompStak One is a suite of data products that unifies CRE insights. CompStak One combines its vast database of Lease Comps, Sale Comps, Property Information, Loan Data, and Analytics into a singular, comprehensive platform.

During the pandemic, the industrial market achieved remarkable progress, witnessing substantial double-digit rent growth across various markets. Transaction sizes reached record highs, buoyed by a robust demand for oversized industrial facilities to support logistics and the growth of e-commerce enterprises. In the following blog, CompStak will illustrate on how you can use this powerful combination to identify potential opportunities or areas of risk in the industrial sector based on understanding:

  • The level of upcoming lease expirations in the rest of 2023 through 2025;
  • Properties with maturing debt in the rest of 2023 through 2025;
  • Properties purchased in 2019, before the most recent rent peak in the market.

OVER 30% OF LEASED INDUSTRIAL SPACE IN MAJOR U.S. MARKETS EXPIRES BY 2025, WITH PEAK YEAR IN 2026

There are a significant amount of industrial lease expirations upcoming over the next four years (the rest of 2023 through end of 2026) across major U.S. industrial markets.  During this period, 2026 stands out as the year with the highest number of industrial lease expirations. Nevertheless, over 30% of presently leased space is set to expire by the close of 2025. Within these years, the peak year for leases executed was 2019, accounting for a 22.2% share, followed by 2018 and 2020, which both had 17.8% shares. Overall, 75.6% of upcoming lease expirations were signed before the onset of the pandemic in 2020. While lease expirations are currently a source of significant concern in the office sector, upcoming lease expirations in the industrial sector could be viewed as a positive opportunity for industrial property owners. This is especially true if the lease predates the pandemic, as current starting rents are likely still higher.

In the coming years, there are also a significant number of industrial loans reaching maturity from 2023 to 2025. This period aligns with substantial lease expirations within the industrial sector. Nonetheless, a significant number of market participants remain hopeful about the industrial sector’s ability to navigate the hurdles presented by increasing interest rates and the looming possibility of an economic downturn. How can all these data points be used to better understand the industrial market and potential opportunities or risks? CompStak One has all three of the datasets that can assist in answering this question. Let’s zero in on one industrial market, the Los Angeles County-Orange County-Inland Empire market (LA-OC-IE), to further explore.

MORE THAN 35% OF CURRENT LEASED INDUSTRIAL SPACE IN LA-OC-IE EXPIRING BY END OF 2025

The LA-OC-IE market has consistently ranked as a leading industrial performer, outpacing rent growth in other competitive markets nationwide over the past several years. This market’s lease expirations also mirrors the figures for gateway industrial markets overall: 2026 is the peak year for expirations in this Southern California market but more than 35.4% of current leased space will expire by the end of 2025, according to CompStak’s data. Regarding the leases set to expire by the end of 2025, the majority were signed in 2019 (26.1%), with the next most significant portion signed in 2020 (20.7%). These particular years are noteworthy since they immediately precede the recent peak years for rent growth in the LA-OC-IE market, which accelerated through 2021 and 2022.

IN 2019, LA-OC-IE INDUSTRIAL STARTING RENTS WERE MORE THAN 43% BELOW TODAY’S STARTING RENTS

As of 2023, the average starting rent in this market has increased by over 113% compared to the levels seen in 2019. As a result, tenants with active leases in place are paying 40.3% less than the average starting rent for closed transactions over the last 12 months in the LA-OC-IE market. However, industrial users are recently seeking greater affordability in this market and this has influenced a slowdown in year-over-year rent growth. In 2023, the average starting rent is up 12.4%, a significant decline from the previous year’s 46% growth rate.

FINDING OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS: ANALYZING LEASE EXPIRATIONS, LOAN MATURITIES, AND SALES DATA

Using CompStak’s combined data sets, we can now identify industrial buildings with high levels of lease expirations from October 2023 through December 2025 as potential industrial buildings with upcoming future risk or opportunity. Furthermore, we can narrow our focus to those properties that might also have loans reaching maturity during the same timeframe, leveraging the capabilities of newly incorporated Trepp CMBS loan data now accessible through CompStak’s platform. Additionally, we can take into consideration properties that were last traded (sold) in 2019. This timeframe closely precedes the period of robust rent growth observed in the wake of the pandemic. As a result, some of these expiring industrial loans may have originated when rents and occupancy rates were lower. Consequently, they may have higher valuations and lower loan-to-value ratios today, positioning them more favorably to withstand increased costs stemming from interest rates and refinancing costs.
In the LA-OC-IE market, CompStak’s data yielded a dataset for all industrial  buildings of 100,000 square feet or more. Within this dataset, about 42% of these buildings have at least 30% of their presently occupied square footage under active leases scheduled to expire between the remainder of 2023 and 2025. With these properties identified, a data set was narrowed to those that had either loans maturing by the end of 2025 or that were last traded in 2019. Among the properties in this dataset, there were five properties that fulfilled all of the following conditions: 30% or more of the building’s current leased square footage is expiring by the end of 2025, there is a loan maturing during this same period, and the most recent sale date was in 2019. Within these five properties, four were located in the Inland Empire and another was located within Los Angeles, according to CompStak’s data.

UNDERSTANDING PROPERTY LEVEL RISK/OPPORTUNITY USING COMPSTAK LEASE DATA
Using the selected target properties, CompStak’s data can provide valuable insights into a property’s fundamentals and its competitive standing within the market. CompStak’s lease transaction data uncovers how the property’s existing rents compare to the rates other tenants with active leases are currently paying elsewhere in the market. Additionally, it tracks the trends in more recent closed deals. In the Inland Empire, the current rent being paid by tenants with active leases at two of the four qualifying properties in the Inland Empire is below that of the current rent being paid in the Inland Empire market overall. The starting rent for transactions closed in the last 12 months in the Inland Empire well outpaces the rent in place at each of these properties excluding property four. Meanwhile, the current rent in place at the qualifying property in Los Angeles County is 8.6% below the current rent in place overall in the Los Angeles County market.  In this market, the weighted monthly starting rent has averaged about $1.70 per square foot for deals closed over the last 12 months, which is more than 82% higher than the current rent in place at the target property today.  Additionally, given that at least 30% of the current lease agreements for each of these properties are set to expire within the next two years, the weighted average lease term (WALT) for the existing tenants at these properties is notably lower than the market averages, providing the potential opportunity to re-lease at higher rates if these markets’ vacancy rate remain below historical lows.

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