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Vacancy rates in Orlando poised to drop in 2013

If it has seemed to you that there have been a lot of apartment complexes and condominiums being built around Orlando lately, you are onto something.

Collier's International, which creates rental property forecasts that are widely followed in the commercial real estate industry, has predicted that rental property vacancy rates will drop in many areas of Orlando in 2013.

Overall, citywide vacancy rates in Orlando are expected to drop from their current 5.8 percent to around 5.2 percent, or even 4.9 percent in certain desirable neighborhoods.

(In Parramore, Pine Hills and other areas that are not exactly flourishing, though, vacancy rates are not expected to come down much from their current 11.9 percent.)

Newly built apartment complexes and condos are to thank for vacancy rates that are expected to shrink over the next 12 months in Lake Nona, Windermere and Winter Park. Although more capacity often means more vacancies, Orlando renters seem attracted to newer buildings.

The fact that our local job market seems to be picking up steam may also be a contributing factor. Young professionals who move to Orlando are attracted to urban living for its convenience and seem to want apartments and condominiums in areas like downtown.

Analysts who study the commercial real estate market are watching those waves of young professionals closely. If it turns out that they enjoy a city lifestyle and stick around, then building projects companies currently have in the works may pay off because they have a built-in market. However, demographers note that as people get older, get married and have children, they often move to the suburbs so they can have private homes, yards and access to family-friendly amenities like elementary schools and playgrounds. If today's young professionals become tomorrow's suburban residents, perhaps we will see vacancy rates rise in 10 years' time or so.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel, "Apartment vacancies expected to shrink," Mary Shanklin, Jan. 3, 2013

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