First Coast Fires On All Cylinders in Jacksonville
Development activity is at a high point in the metro, with more than 2,300 apartments scheduled to come online by year's end.
Sustained by robust employment and population gains, demand for multifamily product is high in Jacksonville, where occupancy in stabilized properties remained relatively flat over the year ending in July, despite significant supply coming online during the interval.
Job growth was led by the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 4,500 jobs, mainly thanks to a hot logistics market. Gains were also strong in leisure and hospitality, which generated the same number of positions after posting record-breaking numbers for hotel revenue and occupancy in the first quarter, with March 2018 being the best month in the history of the city’s tourism industry. Professional and business services added 4,400 jobs, as more companies are expanding or choosing to relocate to Jacksonville, drawn by a business-friendly environment, low taxes and a relatively affordable cost of living. This, in turn, benefits the city’s thriving office market, both downtown and in the suburbs.
Strong fundamentals attract investors to the metro, where $697 million in assets changed hands this year through August, at an average price per unit of $106,112, a cycle high. Developers are also active, with more than 2,300 apartments scheduled to come online this year, another projected peak. Absorption is expected to remain high, pushing rents up 4.1 percent for the year.