"What Should I Do?"
Some recent private chit-chat heard among a group of prominent real estate dealmakers: “Land prices are out of reach.” “I’m struggling with low yields.” “Opportunities are harder to find.” “You can’t make the numbers work on (building) condos.” “Not buying existing core assets.” “Spread compression is too much.” “It’s insane pricing on industrial.” “Underwriting is loosening.” “It’s a tremendous time to borrow.” “Debt has never been cheaper. “We’re seeing limited or no call protection--loans will come back to you.” …Read More
Infrastructure Spending Post Mid-terms: More of Less
The new totally GOP-controlled Congress appears poised to continue the course for infrastructure policy set by the House during the last two sessions— in the politest terms that amounts to benign neglect. In fairness, most Democrats have been reluctant to raise the federal gas tax too or find other funding sources for the nation’s rapidly deteriorating roads, bridges and tunnels, not to mention rusting water lines and overtaxed sewage treatment systems as well as crumbling…Read More
Downtown LA Revival—For Millennials Only?
You can pick up some of your most cogent, well-spoken market information from cab drivers… A hack in LA was no exception earlier this week. “It’s the smart young people who work hard and play hard who are moving into downtown.” And he should know—he shuttles them back-and forth between the Staples Center’s one-big open sports-bar scene and rental apartment towers, which spring up and shoehorn in among office buildings and decked parking garages east…Read More
Wall Street Swoon Raises Real Estate Worries
Real estate lags, the stock market predicts… So should we be worried? Really only perceptions among investors are finally changing by turning more pessimistic. For real estate markets—retail and hotels will register the impacts sooner. The recent volatile downward moves on Wall Street and world exchanges only underscore what has been obvious—the global economy remains impaired and has lived off extremely low interest rates. Europe has not recovered from the 2008 debt crisis—ageing demographics and welfare state systems…Read More
The Waldorf and Strong Dollar
Waldorf Hotel Sale: Here is a confluence of an offshore investor seeking to park money in a safe place, the power of 24-hour city-global gateway dynamics, and overshooting on iconic properties. Just up Park Avenue two condo developers hope to cash in on the same factors by building sky-high trophy towers to attract skittish capital. You think wealthy Chinese are not nervous over the Hong Kong demonstrations—highlighting the widening gap between rich and poor? How…Read More
Casinos still seem to be popping up everywhere as seemingly desperate states pass enabling laws, looking to stimulate economic expansion in down-and-out areas or raise tax dollars—anything to overcome the effects of the lukewarm economy on revenue growth.Read More
Advantage Developers For Now
We’re now well into the development stage of the real estate cycle—even though commercial vacancy rates are higher than average in many markets this late in recovery.Read More
Here We Go Again--Development in Atlanta...Ferguson... Going Global?
Development Ramps Up Again in Atlanta: The market office vacancy rate is 17% (down from the mid-20s), but developers are resuming activities, specifically in uptown Buckhead, the city’s most desirable submarket.Read More
Past Performance Does Not Guarantee Future Success
It’s the point in the real estate cycle where early opportunity and value add funds sell assets and pay back investors typically with extremely solid returns. If you invested in apartments or office in major downtowns in 2009 or 2010 you have done rather well. Hotels have also escalated in value and industrials have rebounded. It’s time to cash in. …Read More
Stretching (or Over-reaching) on Deals
Having trouble putting money out, sustaining a decent yield? Who isn’t? It’s been a consistent theme too much capital chasing too little quality real estate product, and the smart money is holding onto stabilized, core product in the top-tier, 24-hour markets. So investment managers and private equity players find themselves stretching—their investment parameters, the range of markets they consider, the property types they seek, and the ultimate deals they do—to keep their clients and partners happy,…Read More