By: Ismael Rodriguez

Despite the online shopping phenomena and growing demand of e-commerce suppliers like Amazon and Walmart, South Florida, particularly areas like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, stands out as the top market for retail assets.

A report by Ten-X Retail Market Outlook ranked Miami, based on demand, as the top long-term “buy” market, followed by Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Austin and Tampa.

“There’s a gold rush on for retail in South Florida,” Alan Esquenazi, a commercial real estate broker at Continental Real Estate Companies, told the Miami Herald. “The South Florida market is on fire. The demand from national retailers, as well as local and regional, is intense. The available space is lacking.”

Retail vacancies in Miami, for example, have dropped to 5.7 percent as of the end of last year. Rents averaged $23.37, and are projected to rise to $25.79 by 2020, according to the Ten-X report.

Commercial space has been significantly in high demand, as e-commerce suppliers have established immense fulfillment centers across South Florida.

Nonetheless, South Florida also mirrors Florida as whole, which ranks among the top five states in the nation for commercial real estate, spending impact and number of jobs, according to The National Association of Industrial and Office Parks.

The Sunshine State’s commercial real estate industry supplied the U.S. economy with $861 billion as a whole last year, and was accountable for 6.25 million jobs.