Last week’s Quick Poll asked readers if equity is returning to the market, with only 10% responding yes and another 36% voting no. Fifty-four percent saw a slight uptick in equity. According to Mark Scott, senior vice president and co-managing director of NorthMarq New Jersey’s office, some equity exists but we should wait to crack open the champagne.

“Equity capital for commercial real estate remains on the sidelines and very limited as of August 2009. Equity investors continue to be bottom fishing for distressed opportunities with strong returns.

Even with the positive press that ‘the recession is over’ [current cover of Newsweek] and residential price declines are over, the smart money remains on the sidelines awaiting further stress in the commercial real estate market. Heightened stress and higher yielding equity opportunities are predicted for commercial real estate in the months and years ahead.

At NorthMarq we have begun to see some equity joint ventures on superior quality assets. For example, in late June 2009 we arranged equity with an institutional source on a stabilized multifamily asset. The seller was under stress and sold at an attractive price level. Existing financing was assumed and the institution provided 85% of the total equity capital required. Target IRR for the institutional equity was 18%.”

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