BELLEVUE, WA-The sagging real estate market in Puget Sound isn’t just tough on the wallets of property owners and big developers—i-t has hit smaller investors as well, those who are looking for slices of real estate assets to fill the allocation in their portfolios.

Michael L. Thayer is the president of Private Asset Management, a fee-based investment consulting firm headquartered in Bellevue. “Our job,” says Thayer, “is to help our clients make good investment decisions, including achieving the proper diversification of their portfolios. And, almost always, one of the asset classes in a well-diversified portfolio is real estate.”

Thayer has utilized several different real-estate investments vehicles for his clients, who are generally high-net-worth individuals. While some own investment properties directly, many are looking for secondary investments, such as REITs, short-term notes secured by real estate and partnership interests in developments across a broad-range of classes.

“The problem,” says Thayer, “is that I haven’t seen many good opportunities in metropolitan Seattle for about the last two and a half years. Right now, I’m pessimistic about values.” Thayer tells GlobeSt that the lack of investment possibilities is not due to a lack of proposals flowing across his desk. There is always a steady stream of developers and real estate investors looking to sell partnership interests or take out short-term bridge loans. But, few pass muster.

“A lot of people are still touting appraisals with values from six to 12 months ago. They’re not real. They weren’t real then, and they certainly aren’t real now,” explains Thayer. “Beyond the issue of properties and developments being overvalued, I think the cycle to resell in this market could be very long, and many Seattle areas are already overbuilt.”

Thayer’s prognosis? “Maybe the market will finally bottom out and start to turn around.” For now, however, he expects that the slice of real-estate investments he wants for his clients won’t come from Seattle for a while.

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