Sperry Van Ness has unveiled its rankings of the top 10 industrial markets to watch in 2008. Based on the survey, which was released yesterday, investors should keep their eyes on these ten markets: Austin, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, Nashville, Oakland/East Bay, Calif., Inland Empire, Calif., Orange County, Calif. and suburban Virginia.

“It’s important to review a matrix of forward-looking economic factors when deciding where to acquire property because they are important indicators of a property’s financial performance in the future,” says Jerry Anderson, president of Sperry Van Ness.

The dynamics of each market differ. For example, Austin joins the top-10 list because industrial rents are expected to grow by 4.79% in 2008. Industrial-using employment in Austin is also projected to grow by 2.54% for 2007 — the highest expected increase of the top 10 markets.

In Charlotte, effective rents for industrial space are expected to grow by 3.07% in 2007. But in 2008, rental growth should accelerate to 3.73% for the year.

To the south, increased air traffic through the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport should buoy the industrial market surrounding this airport. Sperry Van ness expects roughly 2.7 million sq. ft. of industrial space to be absorbed in this region in 2008, driving the vacancy rate down from 7.1% at year-end 2007 to 6.6% just 12 months later.

View the full report from Sperry Van Ness. (PDF)