WASHINGTON, DC-As CBRE marketed Metro Park, a 37-acre office park in Alexandria, VA., it found plenty of interest among bank and life companies in the trophy class portfolio, despite the ongoing headlines about the fiscal cliff and sequestration. To be sure, Washington’s drama has remained distinct and separate from lending activities, at least in the commercial real estate realm—until recently that is. Lately, some brokers have starting picking up a sense of unease among lenders.
The possibility that the country could go over the fiscal cliff has not changed underwriting, CBRE’s Joe Donato, who structured the $212 million package for Metro Park, tells GlobeSt.com. But it is being considered as part of the mix. “It is another factor or consideration for a credit committee that is more qualitative than quantitative.”
Other brokers, however, do see greater signs of lender unease. Projections about lease up rates, for example, are being scrutinized with a conservative eye, one broker tells GlobeSt.com.
Another sign that the fiscal cliff may be influencing real estate’s access to capital is the November sell off of REIT stocks. This is a guess by Calvin Schnure, vice president of Research and Industry Information at NAREIT, for the sector’s underperformance for the month while still outperforming the larger equity markets for the year.
“People are being urged to sell now and take their gains in 2012,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “REITs have done very well for the past few years and the sell off could be one way of people locking in their gains.”