The outlook for the industrial/warehouse sector continues to brighten, including expected decreases in vacancy rates and projected gains in rental rates. The demand for warehouse space is on the rise and gaining the attention of companies and investors. Read about market data and statistics; innovative ways to market and utilize warehouse space; and insight into the how the legalization of marijuana is making an impact on the warehouse industry.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

Types of Ware​houses

Warehouses are the most common types of storage, however other forms do exist (i.e., storage tanks, computer server farms, etc.). Some warehouses are massive structures that simultaneously support the unloading of numerous in-bound trucks and railroad cars containing suppliers' products while at the same time loading multiple trucks for shipment to customers. Here we look at five different types of warehouses:

  • Private Warehouse: Owned and operated by channel suppliers and resellers and used in their own distribution activity.
  • Public Warehouse: Space that can be leased to solve short-term distribution needs.
  • Automated Warehouse: Advances in computer and robotics technology have enabled many warehouses to feature automated capabilities.
  • Climate-Controlled Warehouse: Space that is capable of storing many types of products including those that need special handling conditions. 
  • Distribution Center: Warehouses where product storage is considered a very temporary activity.

Source: Types of Warehouses (KnowThis, 2019)

Industrial & Warehouse Trends

Adaptive Reuse is the Future of Commercial Real Estate (Commercial Observer, Oct. 19, 2020)

Chicago in Focus, As Industrial Becomes Real Estate’s New Darling (Forbes, Oct. 9, 2020)

Pandemic Creates Surging Demand for Cold Storage Industrial (Globe St., Sep. 23, 2020)

Despite COVID-19 Slowdown, Industrial Investment in DFW Has Grown Nearly 25% Year-Over-Year (Dallas Business Journal, Sep. 3, 2020)

Online Retail Demand Helped Prop Up Q2 Industrial Real Estate Sales (Globe St., Aug. 11, 2020)

COVID-19 Fuels Growth in Atlanta’s Industrial Market (Globe St., Aug. 11, 2020)

The Coronavirus Impact on Industrial Markets as of June 2020 (National Association of REALTORS®, Jul. 15, 2020)

High Demands, New Technologies, Redesigned Spaces: Exploring the Future of Industrial (BisNow, Jun. 18, 2020)

Industrial & Warehouse Brokerage & Investment

SIOR Broker Survey Reflects Confidence in Office, Industrial Markets (Commercial Observer, Oct. 19, 2020)

COVID-19 Will Drive Changes in Industrial Real Estate (Globe St., May 29, 2020)

CBRE: Northeast Industrial Markets Demonstrate Resiliency (NJBiz.com, May 27, 2020)

CBRE Report Shows Triad Industrial Real Estate Market was Strong – Before Shutdown (NJBiz.com, May 27, 2020)

Eight Things to Know about Industrial Real Estate (Forbes, Jul. 8, 2019)

Trending: Warehouses & Legalized Marijuana

A New Marijuana REIT Rival for Innovative Industrial Properties is Coming to the Market (Motley Fool, Oct. 20, 2020)

The Cannabis Industry Could be a Big Winner on Election Day (CNBC, Oct. 18, 2020)

The U.S. Cannabis Industry is Poised to Get a Long-Term Tailwind from COVID-19 (The Motley Fool, Aug. 29, 2020)

$42 Million Marijuana Grow Warehouse Planned in Warren (Crain’s Detroit Business, Oct. 11, 2019)

Is Legal Cannabis CRE’s Next Big Tenant? (Commercial Property Executive, Sep. 27, 2019)

Local Businesses Likely to Have Hand in Readying Planned Indoor Pot-Growing Site in Adams (The Berkshire Eagle, Sep. 6, 2019)

Medical Marijuana Inhales Some Warehouse Space in Oklahoma City (The Oklahoman, Aug. 17, 2019)

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Commercial Real Estate Investing 12 Easy Steps to Getting Started (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing – A Creative Guide to Successfully Making Money (Kindle, eBook)

The Commercial Real Estate Revolution (Kindle, eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties (Kindle, eBook)

A Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage – Boost Your Income By Selling Commercial and Income Properties (Kindle, eBook)

Successful Real Estate Investing — How to Avoid the 75 Costly Mistakes Every Investor Makes (eBook)

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