NEWPORT BEACH, CA-Throwing some cold water on the generally optimistic industry forecasts for the new year, Green Street Advisors on Tuesday said that property appreciation has come to a virtual stop. The Newport Beach, CA-based REIT research firm said its Green Street Commercial Property Price Index for December stood at 105.7, unchanged from the previous month. The company’s pricing yardstick is indexed to 100 in August 2007.
“The increase in interest rates last summer has really taken its toll,” says Peter Rothemund, an analyst at Green Street Advisors. “After rising nicely in the first half of the year, property prices hardly budged in the final six months. And with rates at current levels, it’s likely that the status quo continues; there’s no reason to expect property values to post anything other than inflationary-type gains.”
The previous month, prices on REIT-owned properties had increased by just 1%. Three months earlier, Green Street characterized the direction of pricing as “drifting sideways.”
When the company released its September 2013 index at the beginning of October, Rothemund commented, “After a very strong upward run, property pricing appears to have settled in. It’s likely that continues. Valuations look fair compared to interest rates that are much higher than they were six months ago, so there’s no reason to expect a substantive move in property values.”
Over the past 12 months, prices have increased by an aggregate of 8%. They’ve gained 6% over the August ’07 peak. The index’s low watermark was 61.7 in the fall of 2009.