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MIAMI-The optimistic view forecasts a possible resurgence in the South Florida industrial real estate market sometime in the first quarter next year. In the meantime, a new Trammell Crow Co. survey of regional institutional-grade industrial properties in the tri-county market is projecting an overall rise in asking rents through the end of the year amid an increase in the overall vacancy rate.

“The market is far from soft,” Ron Berger, a Trammell Crow vice president who specializes in the Miami-Dade County industrial market, tells GlobeSt.com. In a soft market, owners start. “The market is fairly stable, not what I would consider flat,” the broker says. “Overall, we’re not seeing as many deals as we would like, but then again we’re also in the summer market–the slow time of the year.”

Bulk industrial vacancies averaged about 9.15% for the six months ended June 30, with the rate averaging about 10.39% for service center space. Net absorption totaled about 1.3 million sf for bulk industrial space and 208,371 sf for service center.

Property owners apparently still maintain a slight edge in the market, according to the survey. Average gross asking rents ranged from $7.19 per sf for bulk to $12.58 for service center space. Land prices ranged from $51.02 per sf for bulk to $72.49 per sf for service center tracts.

One clear indicator is emerging out of the Miami-Dade market, Berger notes. “Larger tenants, those using 50,000 sf or more, are looking to relocate here, especially near the airport/west submarket,” he says. “And that’s forcing smaller tenants to look elsewhere.”

In many instances, however, those larger customers are quickly turning their attention up the Palmetto Expressway to the airport north/Medley submarket.

“There just isn’t anymore land in the airport/west submarket; it’s practically sold out,” Berger says.

“All that’s left are small parcels. It’s like a checkerboard; so, it’s not a question of linking properties together. That’s why Medley is seeing an abundance of deals. That’s the market that can offer the land.”

The Trammell Crow survey is reporting the following local indicators:

* In Miami-Dade, the midyear vacancy rate averaged 7.04%, up from 6.23% for the year ended Dec. 31.

Midyear net absorption totaled 133,189 sf, compared with a total of 718,322 for all of last year. Midyear gross asking rents averaged $6.79 per sf, down from $7.06 as of year’s end.

* In Broward County, the midyear vacancy rate averaged 12.12% for bulk and 11.73% for service center space, down from a year-end rate of 16.13% for bulk and 12.03% for service center.

Midyear net absorption totaled 1.1 million sf for bulk and 300,868 for service center, compared with a year-end net absorption of 663,018 sf for bulk and a negative 77,892 sf for service center.

Midyear gross asking rents averaged $7.31 per sf for bulk and $12.03 for service center, compared with year-end rents of $7.13 for bulk and $11.02 for service center.

* In Palm Beach County, the midyear vacancy rate averaged 14.4% for bulk and 8.63% for service center, compared with a year-end rate of 9.7% for bulk and 6.11% for service center.

Mid-year net absorption totaled 67,456 sf for bulk and a negative 92,497 in service center, compared with year-end absorption of 131,587 sf for bulk and 179,449 sf for service center.

Mid-year gross asking rents averaged $8.51 per sf for bulk and $13.56 per sf for service center, compared with year-end rents of $9.10 for bulk and $12.45 for service center.

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