REIT Acquisition Activity Slows as Landlords Focus on Leasing Up and Reducing Costs

The Central Florida retail market experienced strong leasing activity through the second quarter of 2018. A landlord’s market persisted throughout the Orlando MSA as quality space remained in tight supply. In several cases, many of Orlando’s retail submarkets are seeing occupancy levels similar to 2007. Vacancy levels within the market were flat despite increased leasing velocity, likely due to the store closings of Winn-Dixie and Toys ‘R Us. Tenant activity and Orlando’s business fundamentals remain as strong as ever, consistently ranked as one of the most business-friendly areas in the nation.

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% as of May 2018, only to be surpassed by Orange County’s rate of 3.0% unemployment. The state has managed to add 180,200 jobs from the start of the year through May, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and has since become a $1 trillion economy as of early July. If Florida was its own nation, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world. Every day, Florida adds approximately $2.74 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.

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