MIAMI-The Broward County industrial market is showing signs of recovery, such as decreasing vacancy rates and moderately rising rental rates, according to Codina Realty Services Inc. ONCOR International’s mid-year industrial market overview for the county.

The report refers to the second quarter’s direct vacancy rate of 7.4% as strong, compared with 9.3% a year earlier. Also, sublease space has decreased from 913,850 sf mid-year last year to 396,755 sf at the end of this year’s second quarter. This has helped the overall vacancy rate, which fell 2.6 percentage points to 8 %.

Although the numbers are a little different, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s second-quarter Broward industrial report, they show improvement. The report shows the county’s overall vacancy rate lowered to 9.2% at the end of the second quarter from 9.5% at the end of the first quarter. Steady leasing was among the factors contributing to the decrease.

Furthermore, net absorption year to date is 463,403 sf, up from 196,871 sf for the first half of 2002, the Codina report states. The gross average rental rate of $7.30 per sf at the end of this year’s second quarter is up slightly from the $7.26 per sf at the same time in 2002.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report supports a positive market. “An increase in consumer confidence and a decrease in economic uncertainty have contributed to the health of the Broward County industrial market,” which had more than 1.4 million sf of leasing activity in the second quarter and almost 540,000 sf of positive overall absorption, that report states. Major leases during that period include Interbond Corp. of America’s 114,890-sf deal in Hollywood and Caremark’s 91,057-sf lease in Miramar.

Sales stayed consistent as well, with more than 1.06 million sf sold in the second quarter, according to the Cushman & Wakefield report.

The Cordina report also states that the Coral Springs submarket had the lowest direct vacancy rate in the county, at 3.3%, and had no sublease space available at the end of the second quarter; the Northeast Broward submarket had a direct vacancy rate of 7.2%, up from 4.3% at the same time last year and 3.2% in the first quarter of this year; and the Pompano Beach submarket ended the second quarter with improved absorption of a positive 111,973 sf, compared with a negative 20,024 sf in the previous quarter.

Furthermore, the Cushman & Wakefield report states the Southeast Broward submarket saw the largest vacancy rate decline, from 9.7% in the first quarter to 7.3% at the end of the second quarter; the Southwest Broward submarket experienced the highest vacancy rates, but steady leasing has improved the overall vacancy rate from 14.9% in the first quarter to 14.3% in the second quarter; and more than 2.46 million sf in leasing and sales transactions combined took place in the second quarter, showing signs of stability amid an uncertain but improving local economy.

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