CBRE summarizes that Jacksonville has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 5.8 percent in November, down from 7.5 percent the year before and the lowest rate since 2008.
In its "MarketView" for the fourth quarter of 2013, CBRE reported:
• Office: Office vacancy rates hit a five-year low and companies continue to expand and add jobs, and "the Jacksonville office market is moving in the right direction." More companies will look to Jacksonville when expanding or relocating because of the area's highly skilled workforce and the lack of state personal income taxes.
The overall vacancy rate was down to 19.6 percent; the asking lease rate was up to $17.25 a square foot; and almost 700,000 square feet of space was absorbed.
The Downtown Central Business District vacancy rate was 19.8 percent and the suburban rate was 19.5 percent.
The Downtown market comprised 7.3 million square feet of office space and the suburban market comprised 16.5 million.
The Interstate 95/I-295 East Beltway area was the largest suburban market at 10.7 million square feet of office space. Vacancy was 17.8 percent.
Within that market, Baymeadows has the highest vacancy, at 31.1 percent, while Deerwood Park was 8.4 percent. (The South 95 Corridor was 12.8 percent and Southpoint was 17.1 percent.)
Overall, Class A space, which is considered premier, had the lowest vacancy rate, at 14.9 percent, while vacancy among Class B space was 21.2 percent and Class C space was 31 percent.
• Industrial: Industrial vacancy rates declined and asking lease rates and sales prices increased.
The market is expected to continue its positive trend as new developments are underway and companies have announced plans to add jobs.
The arrival of three amphibious ships to the market also means more business for the ship repair industry.
The overall vacancy rate was down to 9.8 percent; the asking lease rate was $3.91 a square foot; and 363,000 square feet of space was absorbed.
• Retail: The Jacksonville retail market is expected to continue to demonstrate positive growth as retailers enter and expand in the market. New developments are underway throughout Northeast Florida, prompting increased optimism about a recovering economy.
The overall vacancy rate was down to 10 percent; the asking lease rate was down to $14.54 a square foot; and more than 209,000 square feet of space was absorbed. Also, unlike the office and industrial markets, there was completed construction of new retail projects.
Last week, the Cushman & Wakefield's 2013 market analysis and 2014 outlook also provided a positive outlook for Jacksonville.
Jacksonville's commercial real-estate markets gained more positive news as the CBRE firm issued reports that the area's office, industrial and retailer markets are doing well.