In an exclusive media briefing on the outlook for the corporate real estate market in 2011, experts from Jones Lang LaSalle predict that conditions will improve next year, but that industrial markets will not see a dramatic rebound over the coming 12 months.
"We expect 2011 to be the year that finally the private sector takes over for the public sector in terms of driving growth," said Ben Breslau, director of Americas research.
Within the industrial real estate sector, indicators have improved, but in recent months have lost momentum. These indicators include manufacturing, global trade volumes, consumer confidence, and inventories.
Larger industrial companies are tending to make investments, especially in consolidating distribution facilities and capitalizing on low rents. Some corporations engaging in these actions are Amazon.com, 3M, PepsiCo, and FedEx.
Small- to mid-size manufacturers continue to lag behind these large-scale outfits, and demand for goods and services from smaller manufacturers must strengthen before the industrial sector improves overall.
Experts said they think manufacturing has hit bottom, and optimism is "cautious and guarded."
For the overall economy, Breslau said the first half of 2011 will resemble the sluggish growth of 2010, with economic activity picking up in the second half of next year.