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Low Vacancies Help Commercial Investment Activity in Miami


Commercial vacancy rates in Miami continue to be among the lowest in the state of Florida, this according to the Miami Association of Realtors’ Realtor Commercial Alliance. Because of this, the level of local investment coming from companies and investors around the globe is on the rise.

In looking at the latest statistics, the vacancy rate for office space is currently at 14.9 percent. In addition, retail space is at 6.3 percent, industrial at 5.3 percent, and multifamily structures at 4.4 percent. Compared to averages throughout the country to include office at 15.6 percent, retail at 9.6 percent, industrial at 8.4 percent, and multifamily at 4.3 percent, commercial sectors in Miami are outperforming. The only exception to this is multifamily that has dropped 0.1 percent.

As stated by the President of the 2015 Miami Commercial Alliance, based on the numbers, Miami is now a prime location for new industries. Primarily due to outstanding cultural offerings, there is a significant increase in the number of technology companies, as well as other businesses coming to the Miami area. However, this city also provides an incredible outdoor lifestyle and overall, affordability.

Sector by Sector Movement

At 14.9 percent, the vacancy rate of office space in Miami puts it as the 21st lowest of 82 large cities in the US. Even compared to other big cities in Florida like Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Miami excels.

Without question, the multilingual workforce in Miami is booming, which has a lot to do with the low vacancy rate. Within the past year, more than 33,000 new jobs were added throughout a number of sectors. As such, Miami has experienced the third largest job gain in the state. In addition, unemployment has dropped 0.7 percentage points in the past year.

For the industrial market, the current vacancy rate puts Miami behind only two other cities to include Los Angeles and Orange County California. Two of the Miami’s biggest successes include Port Miami, which is the leading container cargo port in the state and the Miami International Airport that ranks at number nine for handling over two million tons of airfreight throughout the world.

Regarding Miami’s retail market, the vacancy rate is the 15th lowest of all major US cities. According to reports from both REIS and NAR, with the percentage being at 6.3 percent, vacancy is substantially lower than other big cities in Florida. Then there is the multifamily market. Although Miami ties for the number 38 spot, at 4.4 percent vacancy is the lowest in the entire state.

As an example, major developers are now bringing new ventures to the city because of a strong multilingual employment base but also high volume tourism. The company that owns and operates the largest mall in the country announced earlier this year that it will start development on the largest shopping center in the northwestern portion of Miami-Dade.

This new mall will be comprised of a nearly 200 acre entertainment center complete with Legoland, a manmade snow skiing slope, submarines, sea lions, and much more. Called American Dream Miami, this mall will ultimately take about $4 billion to complete.

However, developers are working on two additional retail ventures to include The Mall at Miami World Center due for completion in 2017 and Brickell City Centre that is scheduled to be finished next year. Once development is done, the mall will have 765,000 square feet of retail, entertainment, and restaurant space compared to the 500,000 square feet offered by Brickell thanks to a Hong Kong developer.

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