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MIAMI-The industrial-warehouse market in South Florida apparently is weathering continued weakness in the U.S. economy because of the region’s sustained growth in the global markets.

New estimates from Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. show little appreciable decline in the industrial-warehouse markets in Broward and Miami-Dade counties during the second-quarter this year, although the Palm Beach County market appears a little softer.

“We’ve had some good, positive net absorption,” says Paul N. Isenbergh, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director who specializes in Miami-Dade industrial-warehouse properties. “The market is basically healthy.”

The same is true in Broward County, says Chris Metzger, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director an industrial-warehouse properties specialist in the Broward and Palm Beach markets.

“Nothing much has really changed from the first quarter with the exception of some new big box properties in Southwest Broward,” Metzger says. “That is one of the reasons why the vacancy rates are rising.”

On the other hand, Palm Beach County is showing the greatest weakness. Industrial-warehouse vacancies, for instance, increased seven-tenths of a percent during the second quarter to 7.1%.

Year-to-date net absorption remains negative–337,380 sf for the quarter, compared with a negative net absorption of 336,842 sf for the prior quarter. Construction is down to 599,636 sf for the second quarter from 704,419 reported during the first quarter.

There is little doubt in Isenbergh’s opinion that the region’s overall trade growth accounts in large part for the stability in the Broward and Miami-Dade industrial-warehouse markets. “We’re not experiencing the softness like we’re seeing in other US markets,” Isenbergh says. “The health of our industrial market is mostly based on trade with Latin America.”

In fact, Florida exports are up 11.28% through April this year when compared to the first four months last year, according to US Census Bureau statistics published by the Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research.

In its recent market analysis, Cushman & Wakefield published the following estimates for Broward and Miami-Dade:

* In Broward, the vacancy rate increased to 8.1% during the second quarter, up from 7.7% during the first quarter. Year-to-date net absorption increased to 70,411 sf, up from 12,986 sf. About 2.3 million sf of space is under construction, up from about 1.5 million sf started in the first quarter.

Asking rents on warehouse-distribution space increased by 1.1% to $6.36 a sf in the second quarter, with asking rents on office-service space decreasing by about 1.3% to $9.33 per sf.

* In Miami-Dade, the vacancy rate remains at 7.5% for the second consecutive quarter. Year-to-date net absorption totaled 282,027 sf, up from the negative figure of 384,568 sf reported for the first quarter.

About 3.18 million sf of space is under construction, down from 3.7 million for the first quarter. Asking rents for warehouse-distribution space is down by 3.3% to $6.50 per sf, with asking rents on office-service space dropping by eight-tenths of a percent to $11.88 per sf.

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