Net absorption for the fourth quarter totaled 4.1 million sq. ft., bringing the yearly total to 11.6 million sq. ft., the highest amount since CBRE began tracking the market in 2001. This represented a 21% increase compared to 2017.
Leasing activity was 6.15 million sq. ft., an 11% decrease over the third quarter. This brought the total for 2018 to 25.2 million sq. ft., roughly 600,000 sq. ft. below the previous year.
The average asking lease rate was effectively equal to the third quarter, ending a run of four consecutive quarters in which the rate increased.
Overall, seven buildings totaling just over two million sq. ft. were delivered to the market in the fourth quarter. This led to a new annual record of more than 10 million sq. ft. added to inventory.
Despite the added inventory, the availability rate dropped 30 bps quarter-over-quarter to 6.6%, the lowest rate posted this year.