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Market Report

Riverside-San Bernardino Retail Market Report

2024 Investment Forecast

Inland Empire on Solid Ground Despite Emerging Slowdown,
Set to Lead State in Rent Growth Again

Historically tight vacancy buoyed by metro’s western front. Net absorption metrowide exceeded new supply by 3.8 million square feet over the past three years, momentum that placed local vacancy at a 16-year low entering 2024. The Inland Empire West submarket — encompassing the Ontario Airport area, Chino-Chino Hills and Upland-Montclair — is helping drive this progress. Here, vacancy fell below the 5.0 percent mark for the first time since early 2008, aided by a sharp drop in available multi-tenant space last year. New shopping center move-ins planned for the area in 2024 include an ALDI in Fontana, Daiso in Chino and a cluster of 2,000- to 5,000-square-foot signings across Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario and Chino Hills. Despite this local strength, however, nearly twice as much new retail space is delivering in the Inland Empire East submarket this year — where vacancy is over 200 basis points higher. This contributes to the first metro-level rate increase since 2020. Still, mild construction in cities bordering Los Angeles and Orange counties amid strong demand helps the metro lead California’s major markets in rent growth for a second straight year. 
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