South Florida’s commercial real estate market is certainly in flux. Owners, buyers and sellers are adjusting to higher interest rates, continued supply chain challenges and an uncertain economic outlook.
Deals are still being done and space is still being leased. But in this inflationary environment, deals have to make sense, with a cushion to account for the unpredictability of 2023 and beyond.
With all this in mind, here are some points to consider for companies and individual investors who are involved in the commercial real estate market or are looking to get into it.
1. With more properties now getting less attractive cash flows, sellers are often grouping assets together for sales.
This can make sales transactions more complicated, and buyers need to work with their banking partner to make sure the overall risk-reward equation works for them.
2. The demise of the office market seems to be overstated. Office is still a good niche to consider.
Certainly, more people are working from home, and many companies are adjusting with new hybrid models involving employees coming in for one to two days a week instead of every day. Smart owners are adjusting by being more flexible and offering smaller floorplans. That said, leases and sales are still being done and there are some real bargains available for opportunistic buyers.
3. Higher interest rates are slowing the market, but there are still plenty of opportunities to find favorable deals.
Deals are now more expensive, and as rates have increased, a buyer’s margin for error has significantly shrunk. So smart planning is more important than ever. But there is still significant liquidity in the market and buyers and sellers are still making deals work, so we predict a healthy CRE market in South Florida for the coming year.
4. South Florida can be expected to fare better than much of the country as the economy faces an unpredictable 2023.
The reason is simple — population growth. That means more companies are looking for office space here. It means there’s more need for distribution centers and other industrial real estate. And it means people are continuing to buy houses and condos.
5. In an uncertain market, a long-term relationship with a CRE banker is more important than ever.
To get a favorable deal, owners and buyers alike need an advocate who takes the time to make sure a transaction will work for their client for the long term. This is best accomplished by having a long-term relationship with a banker who has significant commercial real estate experience. The more you can share about your business plan and the more you can talk about both opportunities and challenges, the more successful that relationship will be.
For the client, it’s important to take the time to build a relationship based on trust and consistency versus finding a different partner for every deal. And for the bank, finding ways to help the client in a wide variety of ways will make the relationship even more impactful.