Population, Job Growth Drives Demand
Multifamily continues to be the growth sector for Orlando investors and developers. Positive demographics and accelerated job growth have been prompting extended demand across asset classes and boosting investment activity. Nearly $3.1 billion in multifamily assets sold in the metro last year. Orlando’s professional and business services and leisure and hospitality sectors added 33,000 jobs, accounting for more than half of all jobs added in the year ending in February. Following a roughly $130 million investment, Lincoln Property Trust is set to deliver SunTrust Plaza, downtown’s first new office tower in about a decade.
Furthermore, the city has embarked on several green energy projects, with officials committing to draw all of Orlando’s energy from renewable sources by 2050. Another critical issue across the metro is traffic. Apart from the $2.3 billion Interstate 4 overhaul, Virgin Trains—as Brightline is now known—got a state finance authority to issue $950 million in bonds for the construction of track between West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport. As of March, 12,500 units were underway in the metro, most geared toward high-income residents. Rents have been slowly decelerating, but with a 3.4% year-over-year increase in rates, Orlando is still leading the state. Yardi Matrix expects rents to rise 4.0% in 2019.