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2018 Annual Commercial Real Estate Market Report for Polk and Lake Counties

INDUSTRIAL MARKET

Polk | Because global trade is a big driver of growth in industrial markets, political differences have generated some concern. In spite of those differences, industrial markets exceeded expectations throughout 2018. With strong economic growth, robust population growth with approximately 1,000 people moving to Florida every day, and booming e-commerce, expectations are that 2019 will meet or exceed activity in 2018. (Greg Smith)

Lake | The industrial market in Lake County continues to expand, and demand for industrial space is high. Florida’s Turnpike (SR 441), US HWY 27, US HWY 50, and I-4 all provide easy access to Central Florida’s large population base and the rest of the state. Exceptional access makes Lake County an ideal location for commerce distribution centers and other industrial users. (Chris Settineri)

OFFICE MARKET

Polk | We have not seen significant rental rate increases because we are still making up for excessive vacancies. U.S. office rental rates have been rising annually by about 2% since 2014 according to REIS, while the Polk County market has hovered closer to 0%. But it’s not all bad news. Office jobs are steadily growing us toward equilibrium in the space market. Vacancies are slowly being absorbed, and we believe rental rates will slowly rise in 2019 followed by more substantial rate increases in 2020. (David Hungerford)

Lake | During the current economic recovery, Lake County transitioned from a rural to an urban economy. Nestled between Tampa Bay and the Orlando MSA, Lake County is a new urban mecca attracting young families, athletes, and seniors. The economic shift has created an urgent need for medical and professional office space. (Christina “Christy” Kurtz-Clark, CCIM, ALC)

RETAIL MARKET

Polk | National retail sales, as well as Florida retail sales, are growing by almost 5%. Retail sales in Florida are bolstered by Florida visitors. Tourism is at record levels and is expected to increase by nearly 7%. (Gary Ralston, CCIM, SIOR, SRS, CPM, CRE, CLS, CDP, CRX, FRICS, CRRP)

Lake | Recent and current residential growth in the Clermont and South Lake County area drives the county’s retail market, particularly in expansion and new development. Clermont, Groveland, and South Lake County will experience significant retail expansion in the next three to five years. (Marvin Puryear)

MULTI-FAMILY MARKET

Polk | In this positive market, most investors have to choose between higher-growth markets that tend to be less liquid at exit and higher pricing in more liquid markets. While rental growth rates in Lakeland are going to look better on a percentage basis, the beginning base rents are lower. Nonetheless, growth rates going forward are going to lift all boats. (Eric Ammon, CCIM)

Lake | In 2018, Lake County, Florida saw a substantial boom in the multi-family segment of the market including the sale of existing developments and the approval and construction of new developments. Combined with the current residential market conditions, the outlook for multi-family in Lake County is very good. (Marvin Puryear)

Please note that there is a considerable delay between the close of the quarter and when the data included in this report becomes available. This is our most recent quarterly report.

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