Jennifer LeClaire | Real Estate Forum

Miami is witnessing three game-changing mixed-use and transit-oriented developments coming off the drawing board and out of the dirt, one of which is the $2-billion Miami Worldcenter, with office, residential, retail and hotel components.When you talk about Southeast commercial real estate, you consistently hear three topics of discussion: multifamily, mixed-use and distressed assets.

Although it’s clear that Atlanta’s office market has made a massive rebound and Miami’s industrial market is booming—and although it’s obvious that Memphis, Raleigh, Charlotte and other southern cities are rebounding strong from the Great Recession on most fronts—multifamily, mixed-use and distressed assets are still the hot buttons as the Southeast begins competing nationally with other regions.

“More so than in other regions, we’re seeing greater national focus on the Southeast,” says Charles Williams, senior vice president and southeast regional manager at KeyBank Real Estate Capital. “Our clients are continuing to look closely at the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia, in particular. We’re seeing more people moving away from the Rust Belt and toward areas like the Sunshine State and Carolinas. This population boom combined with the trend of Millenials postponing home ownership, the multifamily sector remains red hot.”

Multifamily Melts the Thermometer
It’s not a new story, but multifamily remains the hottest trend in the Southeast. You can measure the temperature of the multifamily market in the region by drilling into the major metros. According to Marcus & Millichap, metrowide vacancy in Atlanta has improved nearly 500 basis points since 2009 to hit 4.9%. In Miami, vacancy sits at 3.5%. Orlando sits at 6%. Read more