Q1 2020 Orlando Market Report

While the beginning of the year got off to a great start, Orlando closed this quarter in a downward spiral due to the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic. Orlando’s retail sector has been particularly hard-hit with the almost complete stop of tourism travel. Despite Orlando being known for tourism and hospitality, those industries actually only account for 20% of employment. Still, we have yet to see how an unemployment rate hike from 3.2% to possibly near 20%, however short-term, may impact the community and subsequent commercial real estate markets. Every sector (Office, Industrial and Retail) had very low vacancy rates going into this quagmire, so should be able to withstand a marginal increase in vacancy. The industrial sector may not see much impact at all, or possibly even an increase in demand as the stay-at-home orders have spiked e-commerce which was already a leading occupier of industrial space. As for effects on the office market, time will tell. Companies may reconsider space utilization and reduce their footprint slightly as an outcome moving forward. However, the loss of team collaboration and culture that is felt proves that office space remains an important factor in today’s business climate.