One of the interesting features of the real estate boom was the way that outlying areas from major metros took off. As real estate got more and more expensive in the big metros (Bay Area, LA, etc…), a lot of people started moving out to and investing in Sacramento and its suburbs and the Inland Empire in Southern California.
The Inland Empire became one of the nations largest warehousing centers. In their profile of the Inland Empire warehouse real estate market yesterday (“Slowing Imports A Threat To Warehouse Market; Inland Empire, CA” (subscription required)), The Wall Street Journal noted that while office vacancy at the end of the third quarter had increased by 2.5% to 12.0% and retail vacancy 2% to 13.4%, warehouse vacancy had actually decreased by .7% to 3.6% – a very tight market.
But the question is with imports into the Port of LA slowing down, whether this is going to hurt demand for warehouse space and also demand for warehouse related jobs.
If it does, that’s going to be an even further drag on the already struggling Inland Empire economy and housing market.