Although rents continued to decelerate, Orlando’s multifamily market remained relatively healthy at the close of 2019. Recording very strong population and employment gains, fundamentals prevailed despite steady supply. Rents improved 2.3 percent year-over-year through November, while occupancy stood at 95.0 percent as of October, in line with the national average.
Professional and business services and leisure and hospitality accounted for nearly two-thirds of the 54,100 jobs the metro gained in the 12 months ending in September. Continued hiring by businesses in the Lake Nona area boosted job growth in highly skilled sectors. Meanwhile, the metro’s entertainment resorts remained its largest employers. Through a $1 billion investment, Disney expanded its Hollywood Studios theme parks and Comcast announced plans to build Universal’s Epic Universe, a 750-acre entertainment destination. To address the increased traffic these projects are set bring, Orange County is seeking to fund an estimated $300 million, 1.7-mile extension of Kirkman Road between Carrier Drive and Universal Boulevard.
Central Florida remained an attractive target for investors, as roughly $2.2 billion in multifamily properties traded during the first 10 months of 2019. And although rent growth has tempered a lot since the 7.2 percent cycle high recorded in March 2018, demand remained one step ahead of supply.