MIAMI-The economic recovery taking place in South Florida has yet to take hold in the commercial office and housing markets here. The smart money is on retail and the warehouse sectors.

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce held a panel discussion on Monday centered on the health of the local real estate market.

Panelists agreed that the housing market continues to struggle, while the office market vacancy rate here stands at a rather bloated 20%. With major shopping centers planned for Miami’s Design District and the Brickell Avenue corridor, development activity is expected to be on the rise. “The smart money says Miami is a very under-developed retail market,” said Kenneth Krasnow, managing director for South Florida for CBRE.

Home values are still 46% below their peaks in 2006, but have been climbing of late. “Prices are starting to escalate—somewhat dramatically,” Carlos Gonzalez, head of Lennar‘s Southeast Florida division, said. “It’s going to bring us right back to where we were before the boom.”

Florida Power & Light Co. President Eric Silagy said at the Chamber’s South Florida Economic Summit in Miami, that his firm’s customers “see the signs of growth, but they worry about the recovery being fragile.” See story in the Miami Herald.