NEW YORK CITY—New York commercial real estate executives are increasingly likely to say commercial property in the city is overvalued in comparison with real estate in other major global cities. In fact, many believe there is an asset bubble, thanks to low interest rates.
Those are among the findings of accounting firm Marks Paneth’s spring 2014 Gotham Commercial Real Estate Monitor, a survey top New York City commercial real estate professionals, including owners, brokers, agents and attorneys and accountants specializing in the sector.
Nearly half—47%—of executives said they think commercial properties in New York are “moderately overvalued” compared with property in other major global cities. This represents a nine-point uptick in the sentiment compared with June 2013 and a three-point uptick from January 2013.
Meanwhile, 31% of commercial property executives said they believe low interest rates have created an asset bubble in the city’s commercial real estate market—similar to the housing bubble of 2005-2007. At the same time, more than a quarter of executives (26%) said they do not believe there’s an asset bubble. The remainder said “maybe” or that they weren’t sure.
At the same time, property executives continue to believe commercial real estate in the city is a sound investment. Most executives—54%—say investing in commercial property in Manhattan is either definitively low risk (36%) or moderately low risk (18%). Only 4% said it’s high risk. Interestingly, executives called Brooklyn commercial property lower risk than Manhattan commercial property. Fifty-eight percent put Brooklyn at the low-risk and moderately low-risk end of the spectrum.
“In short, the real estate community is saying commercial property in New York is expensive—maybe too expensive—but that it’s probably worth it, if you can afford it and structure deals carefully,” says William Jennings, partner-in-charge of the real estate group at Marks Paneth.
Watch for an UPDATE, with more input from Jennings, on this research.