CB Richard Ellis' (CBRE) Ray Sandelli says that increased demand is bringing the commercial market back to life -- particularly along the commercial housing front.CBRE
recently released a report concluding that Florida's commercial real estate market has stabilized. When asked how this specifically applies to the Tampa Bay region, Sandelli, senior managing director for CBRE's Tampa operations, says the demand for more housing was a critical factor.
"Probably the strongest sector right now is the multihousing side; the apartment market," says Sandelli. "If you'll remember a couple years ago, a good portion of the apartments were being converted to condos. As we all know, that stopped, and we went through a reversion process where some of those projects were converted back to apartments. A good portion of that conversion-reversion process has been cleared, which is good.
"I think a lot of people are looking to apartments as opposed to homes for a couple of reasons," he continues. "One is people want to stay flexible today. They may or may not feel comfortable stepping up and making that investment long term. Certainly some are. But some may feel their job isn't as secure as they'd like and they may have to move or relocate.
"So apartment properties, which were built with all the amenities of condos that were reverted, are very attractive for people requiring flexibility. As demand increases and we fill more spaces, those properties will become more valuable. So I think more people are willing to invest, which may lead to more construction in the future. I think if you condense it down, people feel they've been through the worst of times and there is probably not a better time than now to strike a deal."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Ray Sandelli, CB Richard Ellis