Louisville industrial market up, home sales down, according to real estate reports

Housing sales in Louisville were down in March compared to last year, but the industrial market continued to climb. | Courtesy of Paul Brennan

The Louisville industrial market continues to grow, while the housing market is down, according to a pair of new reports.

A new report from CBRE, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services and investment firm, shows the industrial market here achieved its 16th consecutive quarter of positive net absorption.

However, while home prices are up, according to the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, home sales were down 7.1% last month compared to March 2018 year-to-date.

The industrial gains came in spite of a large number of vacancies that hit the market over the first quarter of 2019, the CBRE report shows. Several major leases helped offset the losses to record more than 270,000 square feet in positive net absorption, which essentially signals net gains in leased industrial space versus losses.

A news release from CBRE noted that while the market remains positive, the first quarter was markedly down from the fourth quarter of 2018 when Louisville’s positive net absorption was 3.79 million square feet, a quarterly record for the market.

However, CBRE also said there are about 1.5 million square feet currently under construction, and the expectation is more than two-thirds of that will be available by Q2, signaling further growth.

“Leasing activity remains very solid in Louisville and we do not see that slowing down anytime soon,” said Kevin Grove, a senior vice president with CBRE. “In addition, we will see more speculative construction kick off later this year to meet the continued demand.”

Meanwhile, even though home sales were down year-to-date in the Metro area with more than 300 fewer sold, home prices went up 4.8%, according to GLAR’s report. In Jefferson County, the average price in March was $221,378 and the median was $177,000.

GLAR President Karen Story said in a news release, however, that area agents continue to see average-priced homes selling quickly.

“New listings of homes in the mid- and upper price ranges have also improved buyer selection slightly in recent months,” Story said. “We anticipate the inventory to grow slightly heading into May.”