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The State of Tampa Commercial Real Estate
Tampa is the third-most-populous city in the state and rests on the west coast of Florida. As the seat of the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, the region hosts a population of over three million people.
The Tampa Bay area is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, and Tampa lies at the center of this growth. Tampa’s strong economy features a diversified base of industries, including finance, healthcare, technology, and tourism.
The job market in Tampa is thriving, and the many career growth opportunities and the affordable cost of living make it an attractive place to live for families and young professionals.
According to David Bradley, Vice President and Regional Manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office, “Big picture: there are several macro trends that paint a bright picture for the future of the region. Retiring baby boomers, remote workers, residents leaving higher cost of living locations, and millennials starting families and entering peak earning years should all be net positives for the region.
All these factors bolster Tampa as a great place to invest in commercial real estate. There are various attractive opportunities for investment in all types of commercial real estate, including office, retail, industrial, and multifamily.
Tampa Regional Breakdown
More than 9,000 people moved to Tampa in the first two months of 2022 alone, lured by the metro area’s warm climate, lower taxes, and plentiful job opportunities. Tampa ranks as the third-most-popular place to move to, just behind Miami and Phoenix:
- The Tampa metropolitan area is home to nearly 3.1 million, with 385,000 residing in the City of Tampa.
- The population of the city has grown by 1.1% year-over-year.
- Tampa is the third-most-populous city in Florida.
- Tampa MSA includes Hernando, Hillsborough (where Tampa is the county seat), Pasco, and Pinellas counties.
- The population of the Tampa MSA is projected to grow by more than 25% by 2040.
- The median age in Tampa is 42.2 years, about the same figure as Florida.
- 60% of Tampa’s population is between the ages of 18 and 64.
- Per capita income is $33,448, and median household income is $57,097.
From a broker’s perspective, Mr. Bradley believes that the influx of new residents and businesses to the Tampa MSA has kept vacancy across virtually all product types very healthy. “Apartment vacancy rates crept up slightly over the last quarter, driven primarily by new supply being brought online. However, these new units are likely to be quickly absorbed,” the broker informs.
The hospitality sector also coasted through the past few years, according to PRO Broker Dennis Hopper from DSH Hotel Advisors. “The Tampa area appeared to be one of the most resilient markets for hotel assets during the lows of Covid – this was largely due to the surge in drive-to-leisure markets, where people were driving from all over the country to Florida, and more specifically to the beaches of Tampa i.e. Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Siesta Key, etc.,” Mr. Hopper explains.
Tampa Job Market
Retail occupancy in Tampa has remained over 90% since 2011, due in part to a consistently strong job market and an influx of new residents and businesses. Nearly 90,000 workers have been added to the job market in Tampa over the past 12 months:
- The GDP for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida MSA is over $169 billion, increasing by 46% over the past ten years.
- Employment in Tampa increased by 5.9% between June 2021 and June 2022.
- The unemployment rate in Tampa is 2.9% as of June 2022, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The employment sectors with the fastest growth rates include manufacturing, trade and transportation, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality.
- The economy of Tampa benefits from the finance, health care, insurance, maritime, technology, and tourism industries.
- Some major employers in metropolitan Tampa include MacDill Air Force Base, BayCare Health Care Systems, Walmart, Publix Super Markets Inc., and Verizon Communications.
- Metropolitan Tampa is home to 20 corporate headquarters, eight of which are Fortune 1000 companies.
- The University of South Florida (USF) is one of three universities in the state classified as a Preeminent State Research University.
- Other higher education institutions in the Tampa Bay area include the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, and Stetson University College of Law.
- Nearly 90% of the residents are high school graduates or higher, while over 31% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
Transportation-wise, Tampa is home to three interstate highways within an eight-hour drive of 34 million consumers. Metropolitan Tampa is home to three international airports, including Tampa International and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International. The Port of Tampa Bay is also the largest in Florida, with an economic impact of over $17 billion that directly and indirectly affects 85,000 jobs.
Tampa Industrial Market
Both warehouse/distribution and office/flex industrial space in Tampa are reporting vacancy rates below 5% as robust demand continues to outpace supply. Due to fundamentals like these, landlords have been able to raise industrial rents in Tampa to historic highs, with year-over-year rental rates in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties soaring by 18% and 28%, respectively:
- Total industrial inventory: 112,950,867 SF
- Average asking rent: $8.23/SF per year, NNN
- Vacancy rate: 4.3%
- Absorption: 1,100,000 SF through Q2 2022
- Leasing activity: 4,354,869 SF through Q2 2022
- Key lease transactions by tenant: FedEx 308,237 SF, Fanatics 222,000 SF, CIRCOR Energy Tampa 150,500 SF
- New construction: 610,832 SF completed, with 5,587,922 SF under construction
- Investment sales trends: $297 million in Q1 2022, median sales price $110/SF, market cap rate 6.9%
- Largest industrial submarkets: Eastside, Gateway/Mid-Pinellas, Plant City
According to PRO Broker Landon Beck at Colliers, Central Florida’s top submarket to watch for industrial ia Polk County/Lakeland: “Nestled between Tampa and Orlando and along I-4, it’s situated perfectly to service both metros, along with a strong labor force to support industrial.” Mr. Beck notes that industrial in Lakeland has exploded over the last 18 months due to it’s prime location, with over 6 million square feet currently under construction. Ten million people live within a 100-mile radius of the area, and Colliers has ranked the I-4 Corridor as one of the top emerging industrial markets in the US.
In terms of future projections, Mr. Beck expects industrial space in the 200,000 SF and below range to continue its strong demand, even through a possible recession: “Larger buildings are facing far more competition in the market; however, rising interest rates and construction prices and delays may alleviate some of the leasing pressures on these buildings as we see some industrial development slowdown in our market.”
Tampa Office Market
Tenants are flocking to new, amenity-rich office buildings in Tampa, according to a recent report from Cushman & Wakefield. Nearly 1.8 million square feet in new leases have been signed through the first half of 2022, nearly 25% more than the same period one year ago:
- Total office inventory: 42,018,468 SF
- Overall average asking rents: $29.63/SF per year, full service gross
- Vacancy rate: 18.4%
- Absorption: -308,280 SF (through Q2 2022)
- Leasing activity: 1,756,945 SF (through Q2 2022)
- Key leases by tenant: Rapid-7 41,769 SF, Prudential 22,620 SF, PNC Bank 21,963 SF
- New construction: 75,000 SF under construction
- Investment sales trends: $164 million in acquisitions in Q1 2022, sales price $144/SF, market cap rate 7.7%
- Largest office submarkets: Westshore, Tampa CBD, Southeast Area, Mid Pinellas/Gateway
Tampa Retail Market
There’s more demand for retail property in Tampa than there is supply. Mr. Bradley informs, “The influx of new residents, job creation, and new household formation has caused an explosion of demand in the apartment sector. This is evident by the nearly 20% YoY rent growth.”
The vacancy rate for newly built first-generation space is down to just 1%, while asking rents have surged by nearly 5% year-over-year. Investor demand for multi-tenant retail centers in the Tampa metro area remains strong, with properties trading for 50% more than a year ago on a per-square-foot basis:
- Total retail inventory: 70,317,141 SF
- Average asking rent: $17.25/SF per year, NNN
- Vacancy rate: 5.8%
- Absorption: 185,134 SF (Q1 2022)
- Key leases by tenant: Maximo Storage 46,803 SF, EOS Fitness 44,000 SF, Boot Barn 17,273 SF
- New construction: 0 SF delivered through Q1 2022, with 83,400 SF under construction
- Investment sales trends: $590 million in Q1 2022, transaction sales price $231/SF, market cap rate 6.5%
- Largest retail submarkets: Westshore/NW Tampa, Pasco County, I-75 Corridor
- Median household income: $57,097, with 56% of households earning $50K per year or more
Tampa Multifamily Market
Solid in-migration and a strong economy continue to drive the demand for multifamily in Tampa. Rent growth is up nearly 24% year-over-year, while vacancy in the market is down to below 5%. Local real estate experts believe Tampa will remain a hot multifamily market for the foreseeable future, from both a renter and an investor perspective:
- Total housing units: 1,436,297
- Renter occupied: 34%
- Multifamily inventory: 402,163 units
- Average asking rent: $1,721
- Rent growth: 23.7% year-over-year
- Vacancy rate: 4.9%
- New construction: 7,520 units delivered over the past 12 months, with 16,194 units under construction
- Investment sales trends: $685 million in Q1 2022, median sales price per unit $171,744, 4.7% average cap rate
- Population growth: 14.7% 2020 vs. 2010
- Median household income: $57,097
- Per capita income: $33,448
According to PRO Broker Mark Eilers from Colliers, the city’s thriving in-migration has substantially increased housing demand, driving up rents when construction costs are also at an all-time high. In terms of hot submarkets overall, River Heights and Seminole Heights are older parts of town, but are coming alive and getting more mixed-use development according to Mr. Eilers.