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ORLANDO-Cash-rich institutional investors still can’t find enough suitable multi-housing product in metro Orlando to do deals, according to a new market analysis by the Orlando office of CB Richard Ellis Inc.

An early October spurt produced five sales, bringing the 10-month count to 11 sales valued at $166 million versus $288 million for all of 2001. But for the first nine months of the year, the investment sales chalkboard was almost bare, the CBRE study finds.

Only seven sales comprising 1,865 units and totaling $89.84 million were closed compared to 15 sales comprising 2,961 units and valued at $151.58 million in the same 2001 period, a 41% decrease in dollar volume. The sales count was down 53%; unit count dropped 37%.

“In spite of the recent surge in property closings, it appears certain that 2002 will result in fewer sales than the $288 million sold in 2001,” Robert W. Miller, CBRE’s senior vice president/multi-housing investment sales, tells GlobeSt.com.

If the year finishes at $166 million volume, the number will be down from $300 million in 2000; $400 million in 2001; and $590 million in 1998.

Still, Miller is optimistic 2003 will see an improvement. “Buyer demand continues to be at higher levels than the overall supply of properties for sale,” he says. “Cap rates remain at record low levels, in part due to the overall low interest rate environment and the lack of available properties for sale.”

Miller expects cap rates to remain low “until supply and demand reach equilibrium, as buyers compete for available product.” He anticipates interest rising from current levels in the near term.

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