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MIAMI-Fort Lauderdale has ranked No. 5 on Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co.’s recently released National Retail Index. West Palm Beach placed at No. 8, and Miami ranked No. 15 on the NRI, which ranks 38 retail markets based on several 12-month forward-looking supply and demand indicators.

Fort Lauderdale dropped one spot, and West Palm Beach fell in the rankings since last year’s NRI, but Miami climbed four spots. West Palm Beach kept a strong ranking because of strong household growth fueling retail demand.

Growth in population will attract retailers to Fort Lauderdale, and retail property values will rise accordingly, the report states. Retail sales were up 4.1% in the past year, and 3.8% growth is expected for this year. Low construction last year and this year, and limited land available for development, make this city a strong market for retail investment.

Growth in retail sales is expected to be a healthy 4% this year in Miami. Also, construction levels are lower this year, which will enable the market to start tightening late this year or early next year.

Strong household and employment growth drive retail demand and push asking rents higher in West Palm Beach, where the average asking rent is expected to grow by 2.2% to $17.14 per sf by the end of the year. Top-ranking markets typically have low vacancies, a small amount of new development, prospects for rental growth, and strong household and employment growth.

For the second year in a row, Washington, D.C., was the top retail market nationwide.

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