Which Metro is the Commercial Real Estate Heavyweight Champion of Florida?

The four major metro areas in Florida – South Florida, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa Bay* – all have significant commercial real estate markets, sea ports, airports, and populations. But how do they stack up against one another?

Being a fierce competitor, you may want to know if your market is the biggest and the best. Or you may be planning an expansion or relocation from one metro to another and would like an overview. Which has the largest population? Which has the most cities serviced by their airports? Largest industrial market? Best-performing office market? What are their respective vacancy rates?

Based on the data reported in the South Florida Business Journal’s June 30, 2017 special report, “Growing Florida Business,” we have compared the markets for you. The charts, below, show how each metro stacks up on key variables. These are all factors that corporations should be aware of when considering opening an office or warehouse in a particular market.

South Florida leads the pack in total population (6.07 million people), and therefore not surprisingly also leads in cities serviced by airports (154 domestic + 170 international).


Interestingly, South Florida is the only major metro in the state with more international cities than domestic cities serviced by airports. This anamoly is concentrated in Miami-Dade County, with 107 international vs. 54 domestic, most likely driven by service to South and Central America, and the many Latin American headquarters based in South Florida.

South Florida also leads in total office square footage (200.1 million s.f.), and total industrial square footage (368.2 million s.f.). In addition, South Florida currently has the lowest overall office vacancy rate (10.6%) and industrial vacancy rate (4.1%). It’s little wonder that we are attracting investors from all over the world with our high-performing assets!

This is only the “tip of the iceberg” of what you need to know about a market before opening your office. Much more research and analysis goes into my process with each client to determine the best location to do business. For more information on the infrastructure or details of a particular city, county, or submarket, please call or email me.

*Other than Orlando, each major metro area consists of several smaller counties or submarkets. Tampa Bay has four (Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater; North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton; Lakeland/Winter Haven; and Tampa Bay), South Florida has three (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties), and Jacksonville five (Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties). All are serviced by 2 or 3 airports, except Jacksonville, which has only one. For South Florida, we show the tri-county area but also break out statistics for each county.  For the other areas, we’ve kept the numbers at the metro level only.