Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2015 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2015. Today we are delving into the 2015 Top Retail Markets to Watch. Not the largest or the most actively contested markets, the 2015 Retail Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
Top Retail Market to Watch: Miami, FL
Miami’s retail sector has never been healthier. Across all subtypes, CoStar reports the market vacancy was just 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Malls and power centers circled out the year with sub-2% vacancy rates; neighborhood and community shopping centers, at a still-enviable 5.1%. Spurred by limited availability, rent growth in Miami has hit double digits, rising by 11.2% in 2014 according to Chandan Economics’ tracking of mortgage-financed properties.
Luxury brands from across the globe are clamoring for footholds in the rejuvenated Design District and some of Miami’s large-scale retail construction sites. The westerly suburb of Doral is also heating up, as IKEA opened its only Miami–Dade County location there in August 2014, and giant mixed-use projects Downtown Doral and Doral CityPlace are expected to deliver hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail in 2015. As Doral retail opportunities come online and centrally located mega-projects like Brickell CityCentre add plenty of supply, it remains to be seen how rapidly the pent-up demand for retail will absorb these new additions.
While the relative strength of the dollar compared to most foreign currencies could mean that international travel to Southern Florida will recede slightly, domestic tourism may well increase with cheap gas prices driving Americans to hit the road. For long-term investors, both are issues for the short-term and should not alter the long-term outlook for Miami’s retail sector.
To read more on Miami and other top retail markets, download the full version of the 2015 Top Retail Markets to Watch report here.
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