Polk, Lake, Orange, and Osceola Counties
Our Commercial Market Report provides verified sales data for properties in Polk, Lake, Orange, and Osceola counties along the I-4 Corridor. In addition to expert economic trend analysis, the report covers the Top 10 Sales in:
Polk County remains a magnet for the industrial sector of our commercial
real estate market. Primarily due to our central location, convenient access to the entire Florida consumer market, good roadways and rail, international airports, and sufficient seaports nearby, Polk will continue to be in high demand for industrial and distribution properties.
Lake County is the 18th largest county in Florida and centrally positioned with access to US Hwy 27, I-75, Florida Turnpike, and the new Florida 429 Beltway. This makes Lake County an ideal location for industrial distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing. Currently, Lake County has a limited amount of industrially-zoned properties in strategic locations.
The industrial market in Osceola County is still a historical shortfall. Although some industries have found their way here, there is not nearly enough industry in Osceola County. This industry lack exists across the Central Florida area. It’s a market that needs to be improved upon by local governments.
The office sector in Polk County added 191,000 SF in 2019, representing a 1.4% growth rate, compared to a 6.6% industrial sector growth rate. Jobs were relatively unchanged, although Professional and Business Services retracted from 32,200 countywide to 32,000 between January 1, 2019, and January 1, 2020.
Currently, the inventory for office and medical space is limited, and a small number of speculative buildings are in development. The current stock of available office space listed for sale is under 100 buildings, many of which are 10 to 20 years old.
Polk County retail real estate totals about 34 million SF, which amounts to about 49 SF per person, and is consistent with the national average. Total retail SF is not growing, even considering population growth, which is over 3%. Analysts might consider this to be an overall positive since population and income correlate highly to demand for retail and retail real estate.
In Lake County, Clermont takes the lead in sales of retail centers and development. Of the top ten transactions in the first quarter of 2019, Eustis and Mt. Dora led the pace with just over $45 million in retail center/building sales, with Clermont at over $21 million, and the rest of Lake County totaling near $13 million.
In 2019, Orange County, Orlando, and its surrounding metropolitan area continued to outperform most U.S. retail markets. Vacancy rates remained near historic lows throughout the year, and net absorption increased nearly 40% over 2018 numbers, followed by an increased level of new retail and commercial supply. Retail demand increased and remained healthy, bolstered by high personal consumption rates, which are a result of consistent growth in population and salaries in Orlando.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, Central Florida’s apartment sector continued its strong performance in all major categories. Rents continued to increase, and occupancies held firm, as overall employment and net in-migration numbers both continued to grow throughout the year.
Multi-family developers focus on securing development sites in Clermont more than any other city in Lake County. Clermont offers natural amenities like rolling hills and lakes, and the “small-town feel” homebuyers and renters crave. The city also provides proximity to Orlando attractions and housing affordability as compared to Orange County. With a population of 40,000, Clermont has become a mecca for homebuyers and renters over the last 20 years, and the demand is just getting hotter.
As the Osceola County housing market took off again in 2019, median home prices began to increase, and builders worked feverishly to keep up with consumer demand. Osceola County had thousands of people arriving weekly, all needing homes. The price of starter homes in Osceola County went from a struggling low $200’s in early 2018 to the high $200’s fairly quickly.
Please note that there is a considerable delay between the close of each and when the data included in this report becomes available. This annual report includes is our most recent quarterly information from Q4 2019.