On Real Estate: Hope emerges for commercial real estate investors

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

As capital supplies continue to increase, commercial real estate investors are seeing a light at what has looked like a long, dark tunnel. According to the CCIM Institute and Real Estate Research Corporation (RERC), commercial real estate prices are on the upswing, prompting a buzz among owners.

Over the past year, sell recommendations have increased while the key is to find properties with the best return potential. For an increasing number of investors, this means finding new, profitable uses for buildings already in their portfolios. While top-tiered, high-end institutional properties are fetching the highest prices in most markets, secondary market investors are reaping benefits, especially on distressed buildings in areas where urban redevelopment is hot.

“The good news is the institutional markets are typically a leading indicator to change in the secondary markets, and we expect to see additional activity in more of these markets over time,” said Ken Riggs, CEO of the RERC.

The hotel and hospitality sectors continue to lead the way, showing an almost 50 percent increase in sales volume, while retail is said to inch into 2011 at the 15 percent mark. In areas ripe for urban housing redevelopment, CCIM stats show the apartment sector could spark a major upswing within the next two years. Currently, apartment development received a score of 6 on the CCIM’s investment condition ration scale of 1-10. Apartments edged the industrial sector, which received a score of 4.5.

In most mid-size to large markets, residential building is predicted to see increases of 25 percent or more if economic forecasts remain true. Economists are hinging boosts on low-mortgage rates and job increases, especially on the industrial front. How lenders battle through the foreclosure crisis will also play a major factor in the 2011 residential building scope.

From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue

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