The Real Deal Miami

Time to buy? Report names Miami, Fort Lauderdale top retail markets for investment

Retail rents are expected to rise and vacancies expected to drop

May 18, 2016 05:15PM

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The Miami Design District has become a magnet for ultra-high-end retail (Credit: Robin Hill)

Miami’s Design District has become a magnet for ultra-high-end retail (Credit: Robin Hill)

A stable economy and growing rental rates have pushed Miami and Fort Lauderdale to the top in the newest retail market outlook study.

The Ten-X report included the top “buy” and “sell” markets for retail real estate properties, including those two South Florida cities.

Rents are expected to rise in Miami from $22.81 last year to $26.78 in 2019, according to the report. Ten-X expects the same will happen in Fort Lauderdale, where retail rents were $17.38 in 2015 and are expected to rise to $20.16 per square foot by 2019.

Vacancies are also expected to drop in both cities.

Across the United States, Ten-X reported that absorption is outpacing the new supply of retail space. The Real Deal recently surveyed the country’s retail property markets and spoke with dozens of developers, brokers, analysts and other players about the latest industry changes in a special issue. In Miami, those shifts included a move from indoor malls to street retail, citing significant investment in the Design District. Nearby in downtown Miami, more than 1.4 million square feet will come online within the next three years – much of that coming from Brickell City Centre and Miami Worldcenter.

The report also named Austin, Northern Virginia and Los Angeles as top “buy” markets.

Ten-X economist Peter Muoio said the retail sector is inching toward pre-recession levels, “though select markets, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest have lagged in recent months, the overall forecast for retail real estate remains strong in the coming years.”

The top five “sell” markets were Central New Jersey, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and Memphis, according to the report.

While the real estate research company predicts positive growth in the coming years, it said that the rate could slow to about 1 percent by 2019. – Katherine Kallergis