Industrial Overview – Fort Myers / Naples 2013 Q3

By | December 20, 2020

Significant improvement in Southwest Florida’s economy continued in Q3 showing an increase from slow to moderate recovery. Taxable sales increased 8% according to recent data, and passenger traffic at the three Southwest Florida airports increased 4% year over year (July 2013).

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined to 7.3% in August 2013 down from 7.4% in August 2012. The state of Florida’s unemployment rate declined to 7.0% in July of 2013—1.6 percentage points lower than August 2012. In Southwest Florida, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates continued to show noticeable improvement over the corresponding month of the prior year in all counties. On a county basis here in Southwest Florida, Lee County’s unemployment rate declined to 6.8% from 7.1% year over year (August). Collier County’s rate declined to 6.4% from 8.5% year over year.

Further increase in demand was seen in Southwest Florida’s residential housing market. Lee County data reports an increase of 12% (236 vs. 108) in single-family permits pulled year over year in August and Collier County permits were not available at the time of this report. Neighboring Charlotte County also increased significantly (by 104%, 49 permits) compared to August 2012. Sales of existing single-family homes increased 10% year over year (3-county total) and median home prices increased 26% to 36% over the same time period.


Year-to-date leasing demand in the combined Fort Myers/Naples industrial market experienced a decline of almost 40%. This market segment experienced a similar decline in leasing activity through Q2 year to date, yet rapidly declining overall vacancy and an uptick in user sales of industrial space, particularly from tenants already in place, aided greatly in reducing the available inventory of for lease space.  At this point in the industrial market’s rebound, drastic declines in year-to-date leasing are likely a function of lack of inventory rather than lack of demand.


Average asking rental rates in the Lee/Collier county market showed a notable increase from Q2 to Q3—experiencing an increase of nearly 6% in just one quarter.  This uptick in rental rates in Q3 was in tandem with the decline of 2.1 percentage points in vacancy to end Q3 at under 7.0% overall vacancy—the lowest rate seen since Q1 2008 when the combined market vacancy was 7.5%.