Most experts in the real estate industry have a shared understanding that the commercial real estate market usually has between a one and two year difference from the residential real estate market. If this general consensus still holds true today, then commercial real estate in Southwest Florida is not far behind.
Both Lee and Collier Counties housing sectors have been on the fast track of recovery for almost a year now. Yet most market experts are also seeing the change in the commercial sector. As the rate for commercial vacancies continues to improve, both counties have been the first two areas to see improvements in the industry.
A good sign that the commercial real estate market is recovering is based on the number of architects and civil engineers that have been filling up office spaces. The number of these professionals indicates that the real estate market is recovering. Companies are benefiting from land being developed for future use. The Florida Gulf Coast University is also experiencing this change of direction as companies are seeking to hire fresh graduates in the area.
Yet the expected recovery of the commercial real estate market may be pushed back slightly due to many banks still sluggish in their turnaround time for handling foreclosed properties. These financial organizations are also keeping a tight watch in giving credit to homeowners and investors alike.
Warehouse spaces are an example of an industry that benefits from an improving real estate market. As homebuilding companies get more work, they would require warehouse spaces where they can store their materials and supplies.
Spaces for retail shops and offices are also another benchmark for the improving conditions in the real estate market. The market is showing some stability with the construction of these spaces such as the Publix-anchored shopping center located in Cape Coral.
Employment has also shown changes in the past 12 months. In some areas of SWFL, the job market has presented mixed results. In Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Punta Gorda, the number of jobs lost has increased while other areas such as Naples/Marco Island have indicated an increase in the number of jobs available in the market.
News of commercial real estate making a comeback is a very good sign of what very well may a slow but steady road to economic and real estate recovery in the region.
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