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

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)

Duke Realty to Gain from Warehouse Demand Amid Pandemic Woes (Yahoo! Finance, May 27, 2020)

Warehouse Properties are Suddenly Red-Hot, with Amazon Snapping Up Space While Ailing Companies Sell. Here’s a Look at Key Deals and Market Forecasts that Lay Out a Huge Opportunity for Industrial Real Estate (Business Insider, May 22, 2020)

Industrial & Warehouse Brokerage & Investment

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)

Industrial Becomes Top Choice for NNN Buyers (GlobeSt.com, May 9, 2019)

The U.S. Warehouse Boom (Legg Mason, Jan. 30, 2019)

Trending: Warehouses & Legalized Marijuana

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)

Appetite Strong but Cautious for Cannabis Real Estate (GlobeSt.com, Jul. 23, 2019)

Cannabis Industry Comes to Find Real Estate Tight in Southern California (Weedmaps, Jun. 13, 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 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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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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