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GILBERT, AZ-Fueled by low interest rates and a lack of available properties, the Valley’s simmering real estate market has investors scrambling to cut deals, often making offers that far surpass a seller’s asking price.

“This isn’t an isolated phenomenon,” Ari Sprio, senior adviser with Sperry Van Ness, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s certainly very competitive right now. We have a couple situations where we’ve closed at list and a couple situations where we’re going under contract above list.”

In Gilbert recently, Permacold Industries Inc. of Columbus, OH, shut out four other bidders from the competition by offering $80,000 above the $2.71-million asking price for Highland Plaza, a two-building 14,432-sf retail center at 3921-3961 E. Guadalupe Rd.

The competition to own that plaza was tough from the start, with three investors offering the full asking price to seller Highland Plaza LP of Mesa just one week after the fully occupied property went on the market. Sprio’s colleague on the deal, Sperry Van Ness senior adviser Mike Day tells GlobeSt.com that several factors, including the sluggish stock market, an influx of California investors and a lack of good investment properties, are fueling the overbidding frenzy.

“We’re seeing heavy competition when something hits the market that is recently built, in a good location with growing demographics, allows for new financing and doesn’t require management intensive efforts,” Day said.

Highland Plaza, located near the US Highway 60 and future Santan Freeway, had all the right components along with a tenant roster that includes Team USA Martial Arts, Olympic Gymnastics, DianState Farm Insurance, Royal Cleaners and Time Out Pizza, to push the price about 3% above the seller’s listing price, Day and Sprio said. The two partners said the seller, whom they represented, was more than pleased with the deal and so was the buyer, who was assisted by Ryan Schubert and Greg Valladao with Grubb & Ellis Co. Although Permacold Industries paid $80,000 more than the list price, said Sprio, the new owner got an 8.5% cap rate and a property that was easy to manage.

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