Florida’s commercial real estate trends

One Florida bank is handing out more commercial loans.

The trend for commercial retail space in Florida looks like it's going in the direction of shopping centers and regional malls, and less into standalone buildings.

"Florida shopping centers anchored by popular supermarket chain Publix are highly sought after among institutional investors and high net worth investors," said Patrick Moorton, president of Income Realty Advisors. "Investors serious about acquiring Florida commercial property should contact us for the most up to date opportunities as the Net Lease property markets changes rapidly."

Income Realty Advisors, Inc., which specializes in retail site selection and the sale of single-tenant net-lease properties with national credit tenants, is telling investors they'd be better off looking at such shopping centers anchored by popular chains than investing in single-tenant net-lease properties.

Soaring prices and demand paired with a lack of inventory has made for single-tenant net-lease properties increasingly unaffordable, according to Income Realty Advisors.

Moorton noted that shopping centers also provide steady foot traffic and offer a stable environment that allows investors to secure attractive financing options.

South Florida's safest commercial real estate sector
"In South Florida this is an economy that continues to be driven by real estate and its related industries," Jose Vazquez, senior vice president of Popular Community Bank's Florida-based commercial banking operations, told the South Florida Business Journal. "We expect to do our fair share of lending for commercial real estate, probably with multifamily being the safest area."

But Vazquez's company is also doling out more small-business and commercial loans. Popular Community Bank originated $150 million in commercial loans across Florida during the first nine months of 2013.

The bank's lending of commercial loans of $250,000 or more has swelled by 30 percent year-over-year throughout the state, though Vazquez noted most of the loans are being handed out in South Florida.

"We look at each transaction on ability to be repaid on cash flow of the property," Vazquez said. "In low rate environment clients are trying to fix rates for a long period of time. Some banks are going for a term longer than they should. We want to be competitive but we want to be able to adjust to the future conditions. You have seen some banks have short-term memory kicking in and competitive pressures kicking in and they are looking at today and not the future."

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