South Florida is one of the top U.S. markets delivering solid returns and safety of capital for global investors, according to new statistics from Real Capital Analytics.
Miami/South Florida posted 10 percent commercial real estate investment gains in the first half of 2016. Other top performers were Las Vegas (101%), Denver (up 51%) and Philadelphia (up 28%). Fort Lauderdale also posted gains in sales volume, rising up the ranks of top markets.
South Florida has long been a top destination for international investors. Attractive real estate, proximity to Latin America, cultural offerings, resort lifestyle and global business center are just some of the reasons why foreign nationals invest here.
The U.S. continued to be the top destination country for international investors, according to commercial real estate investment statistics from the first half of 2016. Chinese investors acquired $4.3 billion worth of commercial real estate properties in the first half of 2016, a 17 percent year-over-year increase, according to Real Capital Analytics.
Canada, Germany and Singapore continued to be top investors in U.S. markets. Qatar and Saudi Arabia posted transactions totaling $1.8 billion each, a 204 percent and 5,314 percent increase, respectively.
South Florida Retail
Miami and Fort Lauderdale are the top two retail markets in the United States, according to a recent long-term retail market outlook report by online real estate marketplace, Ten-X. Miami hospitality employment rose by nearly 5 percent in 2015 to 136,100 jobs — an all-time high, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Downtown Miami, which has more than doubled its population to 80,000 in the last decade, is the site of two major mixed-use projects: the $1.05 billion Brickell City Centre and the $1.7 billion Miami Worldcenter. The projects are just two of the various under construction projects in the region. The United States’ largest mall, the proposed 200-acre American Dream Miami, may also be coming to Miami-Dade, if approved by the county.
“Big name retailers see Miami as a must place to be,” said Juan Roberto DeAngulo of Elion Partners. “It’s less of an economic decision and more of a marketing decision.”
REITs Boosting Miami CRE
Low interest rates and an improving jobs picture have escalated the importance of real estate investment trusts. REITs are having a major impact on the Miami commercial market.
REITs came to South Florida 15 years ago and altered the local commercial market, Wayne Ramoski of Cushman & Wakefield said during the 2016 RCA Midyear Update. REITs invest across a broad array of sectors, from office buildings to shopping malls and hotels. There also are health care, timber and infrastructure REITs.
Developers are buying and building new malls because of South Florida’s population growth and increased tourism. Miami-Dade, the most populous county in Florida, added 7.8 percent more residents in the last five years and has a population of 2.69 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. A record 15.5 million visitors visited Miami in 2015, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The way REITs develop and hold is very different than a local developer would expect,” Ramoski said. “It’s brought in an institutional class of developer. They are here because the Miami market is not going away. There are certain factors about Miami that are going to keep it alive for a long time. The REITs are also cross selling other clients they have in different markets into this market.”
Rising Demand for Miami Commercial Property
Miami’s low commercial vacancy rates, population boom, tourist growth, infrastructure improvements and growing prominence as a world-class global city have each played roles in multiple major local commercial purchases.
Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega’s $370 million purchase of an entire block of Lincoln Road in September 2015 nearly set the record for the biggest commercial transaction in Miami-Dade County history. The $375 million sale of 50 percent of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel to a company owned by the government of Dubai in 2008 remains the largest purchase.
Miami’s excellent quality of life, competitive business climate and central located geographic position make it a top location for trade, business and tourism. Miami-Dade County’s skilled multilingual, multicultural workforce, the region’s easy access to the world’s major markets and Miami’s low-tax climate compare to other U.S. cities and states are perennially leading global companies to open businesses here. With Florida now ranking as the third-largest state in the U.S., businesses are relocating to Miami to reach the growing Florida and U.S. markets.
Florida: Top Business Location
● No personal income tax
● Ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for best state for business (Chief Executive)
● Ranked No. 1 Tax Climate in the Southeast for Business (Tax Foundation)
● Ranked No. 3 in the U.S. for High-Tech Businesses (TechAmerica Cyberstates)
● One of every five U.S. companies that export is located in Florida (U.S. Census Bureau)
Florida’s Top-Rated Workforce
● Florida is ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in high-tech employment in the U.S. (TechAmerica Cyberstates)
● Florida has 5 million foreign language speakers (U.S. Census Bureau)
● 9.7M+ civilian labor force—more than double the population of Ireland. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
● Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in innovation (Fast Company)
● Ranked No. 3 in the U.S. in workforce size (Bureau of Labor Statistics)