Tampa-St Petersburg Retail Market Report
Development Activity Modest, Despite Availability Falling to All-Time Low
Demographic trends lure retailers. Robust levels of in-migration to Tampa-St. Petersburg continue to fuel the metro's labor market, which, in turn, is bolstering consumer spending. At the onset of the second quarter, unemployment was at 2.8 percent, 80 basis points below the national average and the second-lowest rate among all major Florida markets. Strong household formation throughout the metro is stimulating space demand, with grocers, gyms and discount apparel retailers ramping up leasing activity as of late. Over the past four quarters ending in March, vacancy fell 90 basis points to 4.2 percent, an all-time low. Limited availability in Central Tampa has retailers seeking space in other densely populated areas like Sarasota-Bradenton and Pinellas County, with net absorption eclipsing 700,000 square feet in both submarkets during this span.