MIAMI-It cannot be described as pent-up demand, but a newly released commercial real estate survey suggests that office leasing activity in South Florida would rebound quickly once the economy re-emerges from the current doldrums.

Still, the survey published by Miami-based Codina Real Estate Services Inc. shows noticeable increases in office vacancy rates through the first six months of this year in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

“There is an overall thread that runs through the three counties,” John B. Geisen, president of Codina Real Estate Services a division of Miami-based Codina Group Inc., tells “There is a continued softening in the South Florida market. But I don’t sense distress. Sales activity, for instance, is simply not bringing quite the same cap rate or return that investors or developers would like to see. There is no sign of distress, forced sales.”

With the exception of Miami-Dade, vacancy rates could be described as increasing significantly. Office vacancies in Miami-Dade averaged about 9.4% through mid-year, up from 9.2% over the same period last year.

“That’s a result of new product coming online,” Geisen says. “While there obviously is some preleasing taking place, they enter the market causing an increase vacancy rates.”

On the other hand, vacancies in Broward averaged about 14.1%, up from 12%. Palm Beach is showing a vacancy rate of 13.9%, up from 11.1%.

When it comes to Broward and Palm Beach, Geisen says, it’s important to look at the year-to-date net absorption. Palm Beach is showing a net loss of 127,642 sf over the first six months this year.

“In Palm Beach, it’s a reflection of a smaller (office) market, with less companies relocating,” he says. “If you look at it on a 10-year basis, you would just be seeing a dip.”Of the three counties, Geisen says, the office market sector appears the healthiest in Broward.

“Its position in the tri-county market helps drive it,” he says. “There is a lot of growth out of Miami into Broward. That’s the primary driver. Broward also has the healthiest absorption. We expect Broward to do a million-plus (sf) for the year.”

All market indicators currently bolster Geisen’s belief that the market is poised for a potentially dramatic recovery, depending on when the US economy emerges from the doldrums.

“It’ll take a defined turnaround in the national economy,” he says. “There seems to be a hesitancy on the part of (potential) tenants to move forward. It they were moving forward, we would be seeing much higher net absorption.”

In many instances, Geisen adds, it doesn’t appear that the lack of capital is playing a role in the decision-making process. It’s more of a conservative play on the part of companies weighing the necessity of relocating or expanding.

“It appears companies are just holding back, waiting for positive economic signs,” he says. “While I think they’re doing well, are in business and are making plans to grow and expand, or in some cases consolidate, they’re hesitating, watching by the quarter, or in some cases, watching by the week.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.