2019 Economic Outlook
Education, rising sea levels and housing affordability top Miami-Dade concerns
Forecast | REAL ESTATE
Managing Partner, BTI Partners, Fort Lauderdale
“Housing affordability is probably one of the top economic issues for Miami- Dade in 2019 because the housing market is expected to face significant challenges from rising interest rates, higher construction costs and limited income growth. The affordability of housing will have a direct impact on Miami’s long-term ability to attract and retain businesses, as well as retain talented and educated professionals.
Limited supply has caused land values to skyrocket and has significantly increased the cost of living in South Florida. While international migration continues to drive the population of Miami higher, domestic migration in South Florida has been negative for the past several years and is projected to be negative for the foreseeable future. Rising home values, coupled with belowaverage salaries, are pushing many families to relocate to more affordable areas.”
Forecast | CONSTRUCTION
MICHAEL C. BROWN
Executive Vice President/General Manager-Florida, Skanska USA, Miami
“Two sectors poised to fuel Miami-Dade’s economic growth are health care and higher education. These continue to be the largest sectors for us, with the highest demand for expansion work and new construction. Health care systems are investing in expansion and innovation to increase efficiencies and provide better health care services to a growing and aging population. On the education side, both K-12 school systems and colleges and universities locally are experiencing enrollment growth and looking for ways to expand and upgrade their campuses to better serve students.
“Florida’s construction sector has been extremely active in recent years as demand for commercial development, public-sector projects and infrastructure upgrades rises. As we look ahead at 2019, the demand for skilled labor in Miami-Dade and across the state is expected to put upward pressure on subcontractor pricing, as will tariffs on certain raw materials used in construction.”
Forecast | REAL ESTATE/OFFICE
Managing Director, JLL, Miami
“As the labor market continues to tighten, the ability to attract highly skilled professionals and add depth to our talent pool will define the future of the South Florida region. As much as we are a global city, Miami does not have the number of feeder universities as some larger, legacy markets, and we need to bridge that gap by drawing in new talent and actively promoting the lifestyle and career opportunities that are available here.
Miami’s tech market has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. We need to do a better job of spreading that message and getting professionals in the tech field here to fill jobs and meet the hiring needs of these innovation-driven companies.
The rise of co-working and how it is impacting Miami’s office sector will keep making headlines. While the Brickell and downtown office markets remain very tight, co-working has been a major driver of new absorption in the urban core and is now spreading out and generating activity in the region’s more suburban markets as well. The expansion and popularity of co-working is helping to grow Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it will be interesting to see how this trend influences the future of our business landscape and tech sector in particular.”
Forecast | BANKING
THOMAS M. CORNISH
COO, BankUnited, Miami Lakes
“The top economic issue, in my view, will be the overall continued development of newer industries in Miami-Dade. We have seen a large increase in technology- and medical technology-related business over the last five years, and this has assisted us in diversifying our economy from the more traditional trade, tourism and financial services that have been the mainstays of growth in Miami.
From both a jobs and real estate perspective, the most interesting trend to watch is whether Miami continues to benefit from jobs moving into the market from higher tax rate environments.
While Miami as a whole is doing well, many of our citizens are not, and the number of people living below the poverty line is a continued challenge for our community. Affordable housing, transportation and education are priorities, and finding ways to improve each of these will help unlock opportunity for those in our urban core. The public and private sector will need to work together to find creative ways to make progress in resolving these issues.
It will be important to maintain a high level of vigilance over major geopolitical events that could impact Miami. The most critical one would be the new government in Brazil, which could have a significant impact on trade and tourism.”
Forecast | EDUCATION
President/Executive Director, Council for Educational Change, Fort Lauderdale
“We need to pay attention to better preparing students to enter the workforce, since we are facing a significant job-skills mismatch problem in Miami-Dade County. We need to engage the business community to work with principals, teachers and parents to make them aware of the job opportunities and careers available to students, many of which do not require a college degree. Strong school leadership and support staff help to attract and retain quality teachers and provide stability and consistency for students. We know that closing the job-skills mismatch is achievable by bringing in the business community to work with principals on strategies that will increase schools’ efficiency, attract and retain talented teachers, and educate students on job opportunities and skills necessary to enter the workforce. With students better prepared for jobs, we will see communities evolve and see an improved quality of life, lower poverty and crime rates, and better employees.”