The Fort Walton Beach – Crestview – Destin MSA has recently been named the best performing metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in Florida by the leading national economic development trade publication “Area Development”.
MSAs are typically defined as densely populated areas of more than 100,000 people. A total of 365 MSAs were considered by Area Development and evaluated using data from the Bureau of Labor Statics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the US Census. This publication out of New York, ranked the Top 100 MSAs in the US using more than 20 different economic and workforce growth indicators.
How did Florida as a state perform?
The above mentioned areas in Okaloosa County were the ONLY areas in Florida to make it in the Top 100, coming in at a respectable 87.
What has contributed to this recognized overall high performance of Fort Walton Beach – Crestview – Destin?
Okaloosa County has maintained steady job growth in the recent economic slump and has always had strong diversification and stability, anchored by military and civilian employment surrounding Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, and enhanced by the large tourism sector. The relocation of the 7th Army’s Special Forces Group and the F35 Joint Strike Fighter training and armaments mission to Eglin has promoted a surge of new employment in the MSA during the past two years, and these critical missions are expected to continue growing through 2015.
JPB Commercial Real Estate Advisors and other market and economic experts expect the Fort Walton Beach – Crestview – Destin MSA to perform just as well if not better in the coming years, as the aforementioned military missions and the stabilized and expanding tourism sector will continue to reduce unemployment, and further diversify the local economy. The area’s real estate market has already stabilized and is beginning to see positive effects from the fundamental health of the local economy, establishing a basis for increasing rents and commercial property values in the near future.