HOUSTON–The Stan Johnson Co. has hired a new lead broker for the Houston office. J. Gaut is a 30-year veteran specializes in net lease investment sales, working with developers, franchisees, business owners and high net worth individuals. GlobeSt.com caught up with Gaut to take an in-depth look at the Texas net lease investment market.

GlobeSt.com: How would you describe the state of the Texas net lease investment market? 

Gaut: The single tenant net lease investment market in Texas is doing very well. We are a little short on available properties with an abundant of buyers. With lots of buyers, it is a great time to sell tough it is hard to convince most owners to sell. This is definitely the right time to sell in order to achieve a top price. 

GlobeSt.com: What is something new that you’ve seen in the past 12 months with the Texas net lease investment market?  

Gaut: Buyers are making the extra effort to analyze the depreciation benefits available on properties. Buyers are putting more emphasis on store sales/deposits than ever before with credit worthiness of the tenant remaining important. 

GlobeSt.com: How would you characterize pricing today with Texas net lease investment properties as compared to 12 months ago?

Gaut: Pricing for single tenant properties continues to grow. Most new properties occupied by fast food auto parts are being priced below 6% cap rate whereas previously, we only saw cap rates in that area for McDonalds, Walgreen and Chick Fil A.

GlobeSt.com: What is key to acquiring a net lease property in Texas?

Gaut: If you are shopping in the $3 million range, you need to have your money in hand and/or your bank loan approved. Fast action, and actually looking at the property in person is important in my opinion.

GlobeSt.com: What does the future hold for the Texas net lease investment market?

Gaut: I think the future is very bright for the single tenant net lease investment market. Job growth here is better than anywhere else. Southwest Airlines flies to every MSA in the state and that makes doing real estate deals much easier for out of state and instate buyers. Houston and Dallas hubs are attractive to east coast and west coast investors. With international travel coming to Houston on Southwest in the near future, we expect growth of the market to continue. As an example, I talked to an investor in Pennsylvania recently who owns 35 NNN deals in Texas and who only buys in Texas. I don’t think there are any investors that focus exclusively on a state as much as Texas. No income tax, job growth, good climate, ease of doing business, strong banks, professional and courteous brokers.