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South Florida’s industrial market fundamentals, particularly for bulk warehouse space, blew through the third quarter of 2021 on strong leasing demand and new construction

The region’s healthy consumer market and growing population helped push investor and occupier confidence in the industrial market, which is likely to continue through 2022.

The backlog at West Coast ports is causing weeks of delays for goods that need  to travel to East Coast markets, making warehouse/distribution space in South Florida an attractive and faster alternative from a distribution standpoint. Bottlenecks in the supply chain are realigning how many firms view real estate needs locally with a shift in philosophy for inventory management.

Previously, companies focused on lean supply chains where materials and goods arrive “just in time.” In a market like South Florida, that meant limited amounts of warehouse space were needed.  Now, companies are turning to an inventory strategy that follows a “just in case” model, where more goods are stored closer to customers to minimize fluctuations in demand. South Florida, with three deep-water ports, has the capacity to address the immediate logistics needs for companies with changing inventory strategies.

In the last year, 18,200 new industrial and warehouse-related jobs were created in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. They were added because of big-box expansion by e-commerce firms, together with a push into last-mile facilities. Hiring also occurred with traditional retailers, plus new-to-market entrants, which increasingly viewed the tri-county as a strategic location to serve the immediate needs of customers.

New inventory and aggressive development captured some of the new employment. In the first nine months of 2021, 5.4 million square feet of new industrial space was delivered in the region. As the industrial inventory and deliveries grew, so did the occupiers’ space requirements for square footage, but new construction could not keep up.

As of the end of the third quarter, 6.6 million square feet of industrial space was under construction, with three projects representing 1.8 million square feet of new inventory. Still, overall industrial vacancy in South Florida fell to 4.4 percent in the third quarter. Both Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County were even tighter at 3.3 percent, with Broward County coming in at 5.9 percent as available space throughout the region decreased year-over-year.

While not a record-setting year yet, new leasing activity year-to-date of 11.6 million square feet was only 18 percent less than the full amount for all deals done in 2019. Net absorption, or the amount of space absorbed by tenants, was 7.8 million square feet in 2021. That represents a 250 percent increase in the amount of space absorbed when compared to 2020.

yc37i south florida industrial absorption The South Florida Answer to West Coast Logistic Bottlenecks

In Miami-Dade, leasing reached more than 6.8 million square feet year-to-date, an increase of 15.5 percent compared to the same period one year ago. For that same period, Broward County recorded more than 3.6 million square feet, a 36.1 percent rise from 2020. Palm Beach County had 1.0 million square feet in new leasing activity so far in 2021.

Limited availability on heightened demand allowed landlords to push asking rates to all-time highs. Overall average asking rents for all South Florida were at $9.87 per square feet, triple net, the highest amount recorded. Rents in Miami-Dade were at $9.17 per square foot, a 7.1 percent jump from last year. And Broward County also reached an all-time high of $10.27 per square foot in the third quarter. Palm Beach County topped out at $11.07 per square foot with the asking rate rising steadily over the last three quarters as construction picked up.

AfGHE south florida industrial rents e1637699131823 The South Florida Answer to West Coast Logistic Bottlenecks

Confidence in South Florida’s economy and potential for growth will only be enhanced by the lifting of U.S. restrictions on foreign travel. The influx of travelers and investors from overseas, starting over the holidays, will contribute to additional optimism in industrial market fundamentals in the region. The longer that challenges remain at West Coast ports to efficiently move goods into the United States means that South Florida becomes the better, more reliable strategic alternative for companies. The region’s positive fundamentals post pandemic,including solid population growth and rising incomes, make South Florida an attractive market for investment.

 

Source: Commercial Observer

 

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A group of developers obtained a $40.78 million construction loan to start work on a large industrial project in Lake Park.

Wells Fargo Bank provided the mortgage to ASVRF Silver Beach Road LLC, a partnership between Los Angeles-based American Realty Advisors, Atlanta-based Ridgeline Property Group, and Fort Lauderdale-based Mitchell Property Realty. It covers the 24.2-acre property located at 1600 Silver Beach Road, just east of Congress Avenue.

Called Silver Beach Industrial Park, the project will total 380,000 square feet in four buildings with 32-foot clear ceiling height.

CBRE’s Robert Smith, the leasing broker for the project, said it will break ground in December.

 

Source: SFBJ

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A company managed by Jon Samuel, the developer of Midtown Miami, paid $15.7 million for a warehouse in Coral Springs.

Coral Vutec Properties LLC, managed by Daniel Sinkoff, sold the 105,183-square-foot warehouse at 11711 W. Sample Road to MGX I LLC, managed by Samuel of Miami-based Midtown Group. The buyer was represented by Josh Wade of Delray Beach-based Flagship Retail Advisors.

The price equated to $149 per square foot. The warehouse last traded for $5.25 million in 2009, so it gained in value. One of the largest tenants is Access Fabricators Corp., which is also managed by Sinkoff.

 

 

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CRE shattered performance records in the third quarter, driven by household wealth and record demand.

“Some of the results are shocking,” Marcus & Millichap’s John Chang says. “I anticipated strong commercial real estate momentum in the third quarter as the lockdowns had pretty much ended, new households were being formed, spending had increased and companies were shifting their positioning toward stronger growth⁠—but I was still surprised. At the start of Q3, many companies were taking a wait-and-see approach, and leasing was soft.

But despite that, about 26 million square feet of space was leased in Q3, on par with the quarterly pace of demand from 2018 and 2019. That brought vacancy down 10 basis points to 16.1%.

“Expectations for retail were positive going into Q3, but I don’t think they were very optimistic,” Chang says.

But the sector outperformed, filling 28 million square feet of space in the quarter and posting the best quarterly absorption numbers since 2017. Total occupied retail square footage is now officially back above pre-COVID levels, and vacancy fell by 20 basis points. Average rents also rose 2% year-over-year.

“I wouldn’t say the retail real estate sector is crushing it, but compared to most people’s perception, retail is outperforming expectations and also surprised to the upside,” Chang says.

As for apartments, 273,700 units were filled in the quarter, a record absorption number for the sector. Developers are on pace to deliver a record 400,000 units this year, and the national vacancy rate hit 2.8% for the quarter. Rents are also up 11.2% year-over-year.

“I don’t think anyone was expecting an all-time low vacancy rate and double-digit rent growth,” Chang says.

And in the industrial sector, rent growth was up 3% quarter-over-quarter and 8% year-over-year, in alignment with most forecasts. The surprise? Absorption: 157 million square feet were absorbed in the quarter, bringing the annual total to 364 million square feet so far.  That shatters 2016 highs.

“The third quarter delivered better than expected results with some record-breaking space demand numbers,” Chang says. This will likely add more fuel to investor optimism, especially in the office and retail sectors where expectations have been more modest.”

Chang has said he expects the momentum continue into the end of 2021. Supply and demand trends remain favorable, and active investors continue to price strong growth into their underwriting, particularly for industrial, self-storage and apartment properties.

 

Source: GlobeSt.

 

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In Prologis’ recent third quarter earnings call, CEO Hamid Moghadam was blunt in his assessment of the industrial sector’s supply-demand equilibrium:

“With vacancies at unprecedented lows, space in our markets is effectively sold out.”

It is, of course, little secret that industrial rents are at a premium and tenants are jockeying for what space they can find. But new details in Prologis’ Industrial Business Indicator report show just how much of an uphill climb supply will have before it meets current and future demand.

Prologis reports that construction starts have risen to an all time high of 120 million square feet, with speculative construction representing roughly 88% of all starts in the quarter. But pre-leasing has also reached its own record of 70%. That, coupled with construction delays, which are spreading out deliveries, means the risk of oversupply is low.

“We do not anticipate significant supply relief in most key locations; new supply is concentrated in low-barrier secondary and tertiary markets and the outlying submarkets of inland markets,” Prologis Research said.

Indeed, it concludes that demand is set to outpace new supply through the near term. The reasons include the ongoing rise of e-commerce penetration and companies’ move to build resilience into their supply chains. In addition, retail sales are robust, and trillions of dollars in pent-up savings and record-high consumer net worth should support future spending growth.

Prologis Research forecasts net absorption of 375 million square feet and deliveries of 285 million square feet for the full year.

“Looking ahead, we expect that market conditions will remain exceptionally competitive for customers looking to expand, making it essential to plan early and move quickly.”

 

Source: GlobeSt.