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Small Business Hiring on the Rise

Nationally, small business hiring is on the rise, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Paychecks Inc. is a company that manages payroll for small businesses, and its data shows checks-per-client have increased significantly: nearly 3 percent since the previous year, Businessweek reports.

Small businesses are not struggling as much to get loans as they were beginning in mid-2009. Other positive signs include fewer people filing for unemployment as well as a jump in the independent business federationbs optimism index. The chief economist at MF Global Inc., Jim ObSullivan, told Businessweek:

“‘The upward momentum is very impressive. Disproportionately, job growth comes from the small-business sector,’ which is ‘key to a self-sustaining expansion.'”

Further, small business employment has increased by 0.5 percent here in Florida, according to an article posted by the Miami Herald. If your small business is looking for office property in South Florida, contact Morris Southeast Group. You can learn more about our commercial real estate services from our website.

Image by mconnors via MorgueFile

CRE Group Argues for Flexibility in Risk-Retention Rules

The Commercial Real Estate Finance Council is hoping to gain more flexibility in the Dodd-Frank law, according to The Wall Street Journal. The law dictates that those issuing securities including commercial real estate loans must follow a 5 percent risk-retention requirement.

The Commercial Real Estate Finance Council believes these rules would result in fewer commercial real estate loans. From the WSJ:

bThe group is set to release a new set of standards for commercial mortgage-backed securities. The standards are designed to enhance disclosure and encourage responsible underwriting of commercial real-estate loans and could serve as a template for what kind of loans might be exempt from the risk-retention rules.b

The CRE finance industry is working to make the risks that come along with purchasing CMBS more transparent.

You can learn more about the Commercial Real Estate Finance Councilbs arguments for flexibility from the WSJ, and then let us know what you think.

Image via corrections.com

Job Market Shows Slow Improvement in Florida

Believe it or not, Floridabs job market is actually showing improvement. Of course, with the unemployment rate skirting around 11 and 12 percent, the claim may be hard to accept. But the Orlando Sentinel makes a good case for it in its recent article, bFlorida job market slowly digging out of hole.bB Here are a couple things it points out:

  • Firings actually peaked a couple years ago and have been mostly decreasing since.
  • For four consecutive months, the state bhas added jobs on a year-over-year basis.b
  • A senior economist for Wells Fargo also said therebs been a real improvement in hiring, though the recovery is happening very slowly.

For more information on the statebs job market, read the full article. Herebs to hoping the improvement continues and even picks up the pace. If your company is looking for office property in the South Florida area, contact Morris Southeast Group today.

Keeping up with New Technology in the Workplace

As technology continues to change, the workplace has to evolve with it. Of course, with technology changing so quickly these days, the role of the Chief Information Officer has advanced to be more and more difficult, like this National Real Estate Investor article reports.

Beyond installing simple software, CIOs and IT professionals are dealing with cloud computing, social networking, going mobile, and much, much more. On top of all of that, all of these new issues are constantly changing as well. Adaptability is integral, as is proper decision making. As Jim Young writes,

bConsider all the decisions that would go into deploying an iPad enterprise server b& only to discover a year later that the Android is the mobile device du jour. Clearly, a number of tactical and strategic decisions have to be made correctly to best mitigate risk.b

What is your company doing to keep up with ever-changing technology? How has using this new technology affected your workplace? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Image via technologyforsmallbusiness.co.uk

Industrial Real Estate Market Improving

The industrial sector of commercial real estate is seeing steady improvement, according to an article in StamfordPlus by an executive vice president, Industrial Brokerage, U.S. Cushman & Wakefield. The amount of American industrial space leased in 2010, nearly 269 million square feet, was 16.5 percent more than the year before. Vacancy correspondingly fell to just over 10 percent.

Additionally, rents, which had been suffering, rose during the last quarter of last year. And from 2009 to 2010, industrial property deals rose more than 64 percent.

Given increased confidence, global trade, and increased investment, the industrial market is expected to continue growing, but this improvement is dependent on greater employment and the bgeopolitical environment.b For more detail about industrial real estate in the U.S., visit StamforPlus.

If youbre interested in industrial or office properties in South Florida, contact Morris Southeast Group today. You can learn more about our services on our website.

Image: CoStar via morrissegroup.com

Service Robots Gain Ground

After reporting that With Automate 2011 coming up March 21-24, the U.S. is competing in the international robotics market, more specifically for service robots, and America is definitely in the running. After IBMbs machine, Watson, competed on Jeopardy! last month—and definitively won—robots being common in the working world doesnbt seem like a concept thatbs too far off.

In fact, according to BusinessWeek, the market for service robots is expected to double in a mere couple of years. What do you think about a robotbs place in the working world? Can you picture one in your office? Leave a comment on the blog to share your thoughts.

Toshiba robot image via JapanToday.com

Miami Shows Signs of Strong Recovery

After Distraught CRE in Miami-Dade began its comeback more quickly than much of the nation. In February, the county gained jobs faster than other locales around the state. And CoStar revealed that vacancy in Miami-Dade declined for five consecutive quarters. International commerce is helping to boost the area, with imports up more than 30 percent and exports up 20 percent, according to the article.

The news is encouraging, but of course it doesnbt guarantee a strong recovery for the area. Do you think CRE in Miami will continue to bounce back quickly? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

South Florida Real Estate Expected to Benefit from Dredging

People attending the Akerman Senterfitt Real Estate Summit last Friday were happy to learn that Gov. Rick Scott intends to fund the b$77 million dredging shortfall,b according to the South Florida Business Journal. The dredging is expected to bring more business to South Florida, and, in turn, boost the local real estate market. In fact, the Miami Downtown Development Authority vice chairman predicts the news will accelerate growth in the office market especially.

Nevertheless, some attendees were disappointed to learn that the governor is not going to fund high-speed rail, which they believe would also stimulate business and real estate activity in the area.

We want to know what you think about Scottbs funding choices, so leave a comment to share your thoughts. And if youbre looking for office space or tenant representation in Miami, contact Morris Southeast Group today. You can learn more about our South Florida commercial real estate services on our website.

Office Landscapes Continue to Evolve

Earlier this month we reported about changing office landscapes and a trend toward smaller workspaces for employees. We pointed out that more open floor plans are gaining popularity and that slimmer technology doesnbt demand as much space. But we just came across some new, different points related to decreasing work stations that we thought were worth bringing the topic up again.

The Baltimore Sun put out an article just this week on the cramped cubicles and open spaces, looking into current design considerations versus the older way of arranging a corporate floor plan. Formerly, allocated work space was more dependent on job title/level than functionality or need. But an employeebs title means much less now in terms of space, with businesses basing their decisions on how often someonebs in the office and other more functional considerations. Further, an open floor plan encourages more collaboration among employees, which could benefit a company if workers work together and come up with solutions together.

Do you think office workspace should be distributed based on job title, or that employees these days really donbt need as much space? If youbre looking for office property in South Florida, contact Morris Southeast Group today.

Image: rofinc.net

Commercial Defaults Fall

For the first time since the beginning of 2006, commercial real estate mortgage defaults decreased in the fourth quarter, according to this Bloomberg article. Although the commercial default rate in the third quarter was 4.36 percent, it fell to 4.28 percent in the fourth quarter, numbers from Real Capital Analytics revealed.

The global chief economist for Real Capital Analytics said that the news bsuggests that the sectorbs contribution to bank distress may have reached a plateau,b Bloomberg reports. And while the default rates are falling, the values of real estate properties are growing.

Although itbs lower than the previous quarter, the fourth quarterbs commercial default percentage is still high, as the rate was 3.85 percent the previous year, excluding the apartment sector.

Do you think commercial real estate mortgage defaults will continue their decline? Or do you expect them to increase again soon? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Image: Daniel Borman via Flickr

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