2020 Annual Commercial Real Estate Market Report

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 Industrial, Office, Retail and Multi-family categories.


2020 Commercial market report cover

Introduction by Gary Ralston, CCIM, SIOR, SRS, CPM, CRE, CLS, CDP, CRX, FRICS, CRRP


Florida is the 3rd most populated State in America. The 2020 Census shows Florida with a  population of 21.54 million. California is the most populous at 39.54 million, and Texas is 2nd at 29.15 million. Florida is the 2nd fastest-growing state, gaining 2.74 million over the past ten years. Florida’s population growth exceeds
California and is only slightly less than Texas. Florida’s population growth is accelerating and is now more than 1,000 people a day.

Florida suffered job loss due to the pandemic. At the end of Q1 2021, nonfarm employment was  8.55 million, 363,600 below March 2019.  However, this represents a gain of 766,000 since April 2020, which was the bottom of the pandemic. Polk County is leading the jobs recovery and April 2021 was a new peak in nonfarm employment for Polk County at 245,700.

At $1.1 trillion, Florida is the world’s 17th largest economy, and it is also the 20th most diversified economy in the US. The state is focusing on this endeavor, and we expect that work to diversify further will result in Florida’s inclusion in the top 12 diversified economies in the US by 2030.

The Florida Chamber reports that the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in Polk County has the state’s best industry diversification. The Orlando MSA is #5, and the Tampa MSA is #8.

Demand for commercial real estate is highly correlated to population growth, and the center of Florida, often referred to as the I-4 corridor, is exceptionally well-positioned. The I-4 corridor includes nine counties: the Tampa (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando counties), Lakeland (Polk county), and Orlando (Lake, Osceola, Orange, Seminole counties) MSAs. The region comprises about 30% of the population of Florida and 37% of the growth. The I-4 corridor grew by over 1 million over the past ten years. There are over 250,000 businesses with more than 2.7 million employees in the I-4 corridor.

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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 information through Q4 2020.