GAINESVILLE, Fla. – June 10, 2015 – Optimism is high in the Florida commercial real estate market among those in the business, according to the Survey of Emerging Market Conditions conducted quarterly by the Kelley A. Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Florida's (UF) Warrington College of Business Administration.

UF's Commercial Real Estate Sentiment Index, an overview of respondents' opinions about their own businesses, improved to 7.45 out of 10 – its highest level since the third quarter of 2006.

Timothy S. Becker, director of the Bergstrom Center, attributed the upbeat outlook to continued improvement in the job market and growth in the tourism industry.

"Both factors have been positive for consumer confidence," Becker said.

The survey found that practitioners expected occupancy and rents across property types to remain stable in the next quarter.

Multifamily property occupancy continues to be positive, increasing at a rapid pace over the past few years. However, inventory increases from new construction, along with current capacity units, means this trend may level off soon.

Current capitalization rates have remained stable across most property types, though uncertainty over interest rates remains with certain property types. For now, however, low interest rates continue to drive capital to real estate.

Overall, respondents felt that despite uncertainties, Florida's economy and its real estate markets continue to improve. UF says that trend should hold true for the near future.

The survey included 97 participants representing 13 urban regions of the state and up to 15 property types. The UF Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies supports the UF real estate courses and degree programs housed within the Warrington College of Business Administration.

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