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First Quarter 2022 Commercial Real Estate Metro Market Reports: Florida Has Top 5 Hottest Markets – NAR.realtor

NAR’s Commercial Real Estate Metro Market Conditions Index for the first quarter of 2022 shows that Florida held the top five hottest commercial real estate metro markets: Orlando, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers. The South region is the hottest commercial real estate region, accounting for 11 of the top 16 commercial real estate markets, including the Florida markets (Savannah, Austin, Atlanta, Asheville, Charleston, Nashville) followed by the West region with four markets (Riverside, Las Vegas, Bend, Provo), and the Northeast with one market (Boston).  

NAR’s Commercial Real Estate Market Conditions Index is calculated using 25 variables pertaining to the metro area’s economic conditions (job growth, unemployment rate, wage growth), demographic conditions (net domestic migration, population growth), commercial market conditions for multifamily, office, industrial, and retail property sectors (vacancy rate, absorption, rent growth, cap rate, professional/business services, and retail trade job growth) and employment conditions in the hotel/lodging industry (job growth, share of leisure and hospitality workers to total employment).

The index is calculated using the ratio of the number of variables where a metro area’s condition is stronger compared nationally to the total number of indicators used in calculating the index (25 if all are available). An index above 50 means market conditions are stronger than nationally, and an index below 50 means local market conditions are weaker than nationally. An index of 80 means that the metro area is outperforming the U.S. indicators on 20 of the 25 indicators. Commercial market data is from CoStar and economic and demographic data are from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some CoStar metro area delineations could be submarkets or may not exactly match the U.S. Census Bureau or Bureau of Labor Statistics delineation1.

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Top 16 Commercial Real Estate Markets

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida

Orlando’s economic and commercial market conditions are all stronger than national levels, garnering an index of 84 (meaning Orlando is outpacing the U.S. on 21 out of 25 indicators). Wages are rising 9% in Orlando compared to 4% nationally. In 2020, 10,000 people migrated to Orlando from other states. The multifamily asking rents are up 26% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is just 8% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is 3.6% compared to 4.1% nationally. The retail vacancy rate is at 3.8% compared to 4.5% nationally. Orlando is a vacation destination, with 19% of the workforce employed in hotel/lodging compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area in Orlando’s commercial market is the hotel/lodging sector, as rising airfare and gasoline prices make travel costlier.

Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida

The Miami metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than national levels and about the same as national levels regarding the hotel/lodging market. It garnered a score of 76 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 19 indicators). Wages are rising at par nationally, at 4.7%. In 2020, the combined Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area (based on U.S. Census Bureau delineation) experienced net domestic outmigration, with 46,000 people leaving the area for other states. Still, the commercial market is performing well. Multifamily asking rents are up 19% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 10% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is 2.7% compared to 4.1% nationally. The retail vacancy rate is at 3.3% compared to 4.5%. It has a higher share of the workforce in retail/lodging, at 11.3% compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area in the multifamily sector, given the area’s high asking rent of $2,120, compared to $1,587 nationally, equivalent to 24.3% of a 2-earner household income, compared to 16.5% nationally.

West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Florida

The Palm Beach metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than national levels except for the hotel/lodging industry, garnering an index of 76 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 19 indicators), like the Miami area. Wages are growing faster, at 8.4% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, the combined Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area (based on U.S. Census Bureau delineation) experienced net domestic outmigration, with 46,000 people leaving the area for other states. Still, the commercial market is performing well. Multifamily asking rents are up 26.8% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 8.9% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is 2.8% compared to 4.1% nationally. The retail vacancy rate is at 3.9% compared to 4.5%. It has a higher share of the workforce in retail/lodging, at 13.8% compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the multifamily market, given the area’s high asking rent of $2,317, compared to $1,587 nationally, equivalent to 26.3% of a 2-earner household income, compared to 16.5% nationally.

Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Florida

The Fort Lauderdale metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally except for the hotel/lodging industry which is at par with national conditions, garnering an index of 72 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 18 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 9.1% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, the combined Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area (based on U.S. Census Bureau delineation) experienced net domestic outmigration, with 46,000 people leaving the area for other states. Still, the commercial market is performing well. Multifamily asking rents are up 22.9% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 10.5% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is 3.8% compared to 4.1% nationally, but industrial rents rose 16.4%. The retail vacancy rate is at 3.9% compared to 4.5%. It has a slightly higher share of the workforce in retail/lodging, at 10.5% compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the multifamily market, given the area’s high asking rent of $2,182, compared to $1,587 nationally, equivalent to 23.5% of a 2-earner household income, compared to 16.5% nationally.

Fort Myers, Florida

The Fort Myers metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally except for the hotel/lodging industry, which is at par with national conditions, garnering an index of 72 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 18 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 12% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, 18,500 people moved into the area from other states. Multifamily asking rents are up 29.6% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is a low 4.7% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 2.4% compared to 4.1% nationally, with industrial rents up 11.5%. The retail vacancy rate is at 3.7% compared to 4.5%. It is a vacation destination, with a slightly higher share of the workforce in retail/lodging, at 15% compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the hotel/lodging sector, as rising airfare and gasoline prices make travel costlier.

Savannah, Georgia

The Savannah metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally except for the hotel/lodging industry, which is at par with national conditions, garnering an index of 72 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 18 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 15% compared to 4.7% nationally. There were not a lot of movers from others states but Savannah’s population rose 2.75% compared to about 1% nationally. Multifamily asking rents are up 20.7% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is a low 2.4% compared to 12.2% nationally. Savannah is a port area so the industrial vacancy rate is a low 1.6% compared to 4.1% nationally, with industrial rents up 14.5%. The retail vacancy rate is at 4% compared to 4.5% nationally. Savannah is a popular tourist area with a slightly higher share of the workforce in retail/lodging, at 13.6% compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the industrial sector, as rising inflation and slower consumer spending soften demand somewhat for warehousing and distribution space.

Austin, Texas

The Austin metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally except for the hotel/lodging industry, garnering an index of 72 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 18 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 6.9% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, 48,900 people moved into the area and the population swelled by 3.2% compared to about 1% nationally. Multifamily asking rents are up 18.3% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is higher than nationally, at 12.9% compared to 12.2% nationally, but office asking rents are still rising faster, at 2.7% compared to 0.8% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 3.4% compared to 4.1% nationally, with industrial rents up 11.6%. With a booming population, the retail vacancy rate is at 3.4% compared to 4.5%. It has just a slightly higher share of the workforce in retail/lodging, at 10.8% compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the multifamily sector, but with an asking rent of $1,650, compared to $1,587 nationally, which can soften migration into the area. However, for now, rents are still affordable relative to income, equivalent to 16.3% of a 2-earner household income, compared to 16.5% nationally.

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Massachusetts

The Boston metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally in the multifamily, office, and hotel/lodging markets, garnering an index of 71 (so it outperformed the U.S. on about 18 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 6.2% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, while this area lost 26,600 people who moved to other states, its population is still rising faster than nationally, at 1.24% compared to about 1% nationally. Multifamily vacancy rent is lower than nationally at 4% compared to 4.9%, but asking rents are growing at about the same rate, at 11% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 9.4% compared to 12.2% nationally, with asking rents up 1.4% compared to about 1% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 3.9% compared to 4.1% nationally, with industrial rents up 10.5%, slightly lower than 11.6% nationally. The retail vacancy rate is at 2.8% compared to 4.5%.

The main risk area is in the multifamily sector, with an asking rent of $2,600, compared to $1,587 nationally and with wages lagging behind rent growth. However, Boston has been attracting tech industries (e.g., biosciences) where jobs are relatively high-paying compared to other occupations.

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (Inland Empire), California

The Inland Empire’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 5.2% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, 15,700 people moved into the area from other states. Multifamily vacancy rent is lower than nationally at 2.6% compared to 4.9%, with asking rents up 13.5% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 6.4% compared to 12.2% nationally, with asking rents up 3.3% compared to about 1% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 1.3% compared to 4.1% nationally, with industrial rents up 15% compared to 11.6% nationally. However, the retail vacancy rate is higher at 6.6% compared to 4.5%.

With its low rent of $1,937 compared to other metro areas in California such as Los Angeles ($2,138), the Inland Empire is poised to attract more movers into the area and increase demand for rental (and owner-occupied) housing.

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia

The Atlanta metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). Wages are growing faster, at 7.7% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, 23,600 people moved into the area from other states. Multifamily vacancy rent is 6.5% compared to 4.9% nationally, but there’s a huge demand for housing, with asking rents up 16.2% compared to 11.4% nationally. However, the office market is still weak, with the office vacancy rate being high at 14.2% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 3.6% compared to 4.1% nationally, with industrial rents up 13.7%, compared to 11.6% nationally. However, the retail vacancy rate is at 4.2% compared to 4.5% nationally. A lower fraction of the workforce, at 9.5%, is employed in hotel/lodging, compared to 10% nationally.

With an asking rent of $1,606, which is just slightly higher than nationally at $1,587, Atlanta is poised to attract more movers into the area and increase demand for rental (and owner-occupied) housing. More people moving into the area will also attract demand for other commercial real estate types, including office space.

Asheville, North Carolina

The metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). In 2020, 4,200 people moved into the area from other states. While wages rose just 0.4%, asking rents were up 18.5% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is a low 2.9% compared to 12.2% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 2.3% compared to 4.1% nationally. With people moving into the area, the retail vacancy rate is at 2% compared to 4.5%. Asheville is a vacation destination, with Biltmore House as the main attraction, and 13.9% of the workforce is employed in hotel/lodging, compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the hotel/lodging sector, as rising airfare and gasoline prices make travel costlier.

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada

The metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally, particularly in the office, industrial, and retail property markets, garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). In 2020, 28,500 people moved into the area. Wages are rising fast at 10.2% compared to 4.7% nationally. Multifamily asking rents were up 20.8% compared to 11.4% nationally. Office vacancy rate is still high at 10.3% (though lower compared to 12.2% nationally), but office asking rents rose at faster pace of 4.2% compared to about 1% nationally. Industrial vacancy rate is at 2% compared to 4.1% nationally. Las Vegas is still suffering from a high retail vacancy rate of 5.5% compared to 4.5% but demand is picking up, with retail rents rising at 10.4% compared to 3.9% nationally. Las Vegas is a vacation destination, with 25.7% of the workforce employed in hotels/lodging, compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the hotel/lodging sector, as rising airfare and gasoline prices make travel costlier.

Bend-Redmond, Oregon

This is one of the smaller hot markets, with a population of less than 250,000. The metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally, particularly in the office, industrial, and retail property markets, garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). In 2020, 4,200 people moved into the area and its population rose as fast as nationally, at about 1%. Wages rose slightly faster at 5.3% compared to 4.7% nationally. There are relatively more available multifamily properties than nationally, with the multifamily vacancy rate of 6.5% compared to 4.9% nationally, so rent growth is slower at 7.4% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is a low 3.3% compared to 12.2% nationally; however, office asking rents are rising at 4.3% compared to about 1% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is a low 1.2% compared to 4.1% nationally. Bend, Oregon is a vacation destination for hikers and campers, with 15.1% of the workforce employed in hotel/lodging, compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the hotel/lodging sector, as rising airfares and gasoline prices make travel costlier.

Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina

The metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally, particularly in the office, industrial, and retail property markets, garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the US on 17 indicators). Wages rose at a slightly slower pace of 4.1% compared to nationally at 4.7%, although it has a lower unemployment rate of 3.1% compared to 3.6% nationally, so wages are likely to rise at a faster pace. slightly faster at 5.3% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, 11,100 people moved into the area, although the population declined overall. There are relatively more available multifamily properties than nationally, with the multifamily vacancy rate of 7.7% compared to 4.9% nationally, but demand is high with rents up 17% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 8.1% compared to 12.2% nationally, so office asking rents are rising at 2.6% compared to about 1% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 2.9% compared to 4.1% nationally. Charleston attracts tourists, with 13.5% of the workforce employed in hotel/lodging, compared to 10% nationally.

The main risk area is in the hotel/lodging sector, as rising airfare and gasoline prices make travel costlier.

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee

The metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally, particularly in the office, industrial, and retail property markets, garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). Wages rose 7.7% compared to nationally at 4.7%, with strong job growth of 7.7% compared to 4.7% nationally. In 2020, 20,100 people moved into the area, and its population swelled by 3.2% compared to about 1% nationally. There are relatively more available multifamily properties than nationally, with the multifamily vacancy rate of 6.1% compared to 4.9% nationally, but demand is high with rents up 18.3% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 10.5% compared to 12.2% nationally, so office asking rents are rising at 1.8% compared to about 1% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 4.5% compared to 4.1% nationally but demand is high, with industrial rents up 14.3% compared to 11% nationally.

With an asking rent of $1,595, which is relatively affordable compared to national levels, Nashville is poised to attract more movers into the area and increase demand for rental (and owner-occupied) housing.

Provo-Orem, Utah

The metro area’s economic and commercial market conditions are stronger than nationally, particularly in the office, industrial, and retail property markets, garnering an index of 68 (so it outperformed the U.S. on 17 indicators). The Provo metro area is a fast-growing area. In 2020, its population rose 4.1% compared to about 1% nationally. There the multifamily vacancy rate is at 3.1% compared to 4.9% nationally, but demand is high with rents up 13.9% compared to 11.4% nationally. The office vacancy rate is at 7.6% compared to 12.2% nationally, so office asking rents are rising at 2.4% compared to about 1% nationally. The industrial vacancy rate is at 1.3% compared to 4.1% nationally but demand is high, although industrial rents have not increased as fast, just 6% compared to 11% nationally.

With low vacancy rates, there is upward pressure on rents. With an asking rent of $1,470, which is relatively affordable compared to nationally ($1,587), Provo-Orem is poised to attract more movers into the area and increase demand for rental (and owner-occupied) housing.


1 For example, CoStar separately reports data for Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach but the population and migration data of the U.S. Census Bureau is reported for Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

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