CRE Bubble? Not If, But When
The CRE Bubble will pop. But when?

CRE Bubble? Not If, But When

2 weeks ago 0 0 35

Recent NREI article “Low U.S. Interest Rates Are Fueling a Bubble in Commercial Real Estate” claims it is not a matter of if the CRE bubble will pop, but when it will pop. I wholeheartedly agree with author Jay Rollins’ assessment and strategy. We’ve already seen investor push back on properties purchased post-2015 that are now back on the market. The current owners paid too much, thinking prices would increase, but in my opinion, the market has flattened—with further appreciation less likely than price deflation. The spreads between real estate yields and other financial instruments are historically low, and like Rollins, I have to believe that interest rates will increase sooner rather than later. I certainly don’t see them decreasing. The best opportunity for upside today is in new development, which has considerably more risk than buying existing assets. Historically, developers get caught by recession and rising interest rates. This time will be

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The WeWork model looks weak. What is the SoftBank Group to do?

WeWork Weak? Looks That Way

2 months ago 0 0 117

A recent BisNow article looks at the impending takeover deal between SoftBank Group and The We Company, which values WeWork’s parent company between $7.5B and $8.5B. Here’s what I think: SoftBank is throwing good money away, but the company probably has zero choice if it wants to salvage any of its existing investment. I cannot believe SoftBank paid former CEO Adam Neumann that much money to step down; there must have been a reason. (The article states, “To take control over The We Company, SoftBank will buy $1B in stock from Neumann, pay him a $185M consulting fee and extend him $500M in credit to repay a loan led by JPMorgan.”) As I’ve considered in previous blogs, the WeWork model looks weak. The office market is probably peaked and likely will flatten at a time when WeWork has made its maximum space commitment to date. Also, no barriers exist for

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Mentoring as an Investment in Our Young People and the Future

Mentoring: An Investment in the Future

8 months ago 0 1 331

My Dad was tough around the edges, but he was a kind and generous man. Whether it was family, friends, acquaintances or strangers in need, Dad always tried to help them get back on their feet. While I respected him as a businessman, my greatest admiration was due to his willingness to help others. A Legacy of Giving One way I choose to continue my father’s legacy of giving is by mentoring students and early career adults. A few years back, I wrote a series on mentoring. The first blog of the series offered industry professionals mentoring tips. The second blog advised how mentors can help young professionals in the CRE industry. And the final blog examined mentoring benefits. I am a mentoring advocate, whether you participate in a formal program, act informally as an advisor or assist a young colleague. I currently advise ten individuals. Formal Mentoring I participate

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Smart Real Estate Investing in 2018

1 year ago 0 0 768

It’s a new year, and we’re moving full steam ahead. It’s a great time to check in with current real estate trends and events shaping this year’s market and then decide how you will respond to them to meet your 2018 investment objectives. Current Real Estate Market Trends Money Chasing Deals: It will come as no surprise that demand for real estate still far exceeds supply. This results in peak prices, which equals lower yields, and makes it increasingly more difficult to “win” deals. Risk/Potential: With the market peaking, there is more downside risk and less upside potential. Hesitation: Current owners are hesitant to sell because opportunities to reinvest their money at acceptable returns just do not exist. Low Prices: Prices per square foot on existing properties seem low compared to replacement costs. Core Investment: Institutional investors now consider real estate a core investment, thus eliminating the need for a

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CRE Market: Looking Back to Look Ahead

1 year ago 0 0 774

In last year’s first blog of the year, “2017: A Mature Market,” I made some predictions about the commercial real estate market and investing for 2017. Here’s a look at what I predicted and what actually happened. It’s apparent I had some good predictions and some that did not come to fruition. INVESTING What I predicted: A good, but not great year for investing. What happened: Transactions and overall volume were down, but price per transaction continued to rise to new highs. INTEREST RATES What I predicted: Interest rates will increase, but will still be cheap by historic standards—with only a marginal effect on investment. What happened: Ten-year Treasuries were flat. Two- and five-year Treasuries rose, but not enough to impact the market. CASH FLOW What I predicted: A combination of more solid incomes and continued low interest rates will result in good cash flows. What happened: This prediction was

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Development Regulations: Has Protecting the Public Gone Too Far?

3 years ago 0 0 1398

When do development regulations, building codes and zoning regulations transcend protecting the public welfare and instead slow the progression to building a community that better suits today’s rapidly changing lifestyles? Think about it. Are regulations necessary? Of course they are. Can regulations strangle creativity and vision? Of course they can.  While some jurisdictions seem more responsive to market demands and changes, others are hell-bent on keeping things the way they are. The relationship between developers, city planners, code enforcers, local politicians and neighborhood activists has always been somewhat adversarial. But how these relationships work in today’s world is particularly important since development has accelerated and looks much different look than it did ten years ago. What Are the Problems?  Outdated zoning ordinances and codes which don’t address the high-density, mixed-use development trend Code enforcement officials’ tendency to read and adhere strictly to document language The regulator’s lack of empowerment for

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More Questions Than Answers: A 2016 Forecast for Atlanta Commercial Real Estate

4 years ago 0 0 1443

Trouble in China. Falling oil prices. Unsteady stock market. Slow employment growth. Stagnant incomes. That’s a heck of a way to start a new year, isn’t it? In the real estate universe, an abundance of capital and cheap financing have once again pushed prices up to record levels. My friends in the capital markets tell me that investment activity flattened toward the end of last year, as both investors and lenders became more cautious. Do these macro events portend the end of the slow—if resilient—economic recovery? How will Atlanta be affected? So far, Atlanta’s commercial real estate market has performed well during this recovery. Led by multi-family development, occupancy and rental rates have both been ticking up. In 2015, new construction has increased in all sectors. Will this continue in 2016? For my part, I have a few questions (and a few predictions) about how things will shake out over

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Cutting Through the Brokerspeak

4 years ago 0 0 1744

If you’ve ever bought a house, you’ve heard some of the code words residential real estate agents put in their listings. That “contemporary design” may just be ugly as sin. The “convenient location” could be because you get stuck in rush-hour traffic within a quarter mile of the driveway. And don’t even start thinking about “open concept.” Commercial brokers have their own language as well, and it can lead the uninformed or unsophisticated buyer to overpay. For the uninitiated, it may take a while to pick it up on this language. But once you’ve heard the same phrases ad nauseam, it can be easy to get cynical about brokerspeak. Below are five of the most commonly abused phrases, along with the cynic’s interpretation. And, on a more serious note, what you really ought to think about when you see these phrases in a marketing package.   Below replacement cost! The

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Sell high? Not so fast!

4 years ago 0 0 1996

One of the truisms of investing is that you should always sell high — in other words, when the market is at its peak. With values for commercial properties approaching, and in some cases surpassing, “all time highs,” one might argue for aggressive selling. Not so fast! Pause, take a breath, and consider the following decision pathway: 1.    A primary consideration should be “What will you do with the money from the sale?” In this market, virtually all asset classes are very expensive, and cash is yielding close to nothing. This leads to question #2… 2.    If the current property is financially sound and producing a good return, why replace it for another? Unless… 3.    If the current property is not performing well, no longer meets your objectives, has changed fundamentally, or has fulfilled the objectives for which it was purchased, it may be time to sell. 4.    Are the

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Six Wealth-Building Real Estate Resolutions for 2015

5 years ago 0 0 1816

You might be surprised to know how many commercial real estate purchases are driven more by emotional than rational decision making. With the real estate and stock markets being white-hot and returns on conservative alternatives near zero, it is tempting and easy to throw caution to the wind. Beware if you dare. If you’re considering a real estate investment in 2015, here are Six Wealth-Building Real Estate Resolutions to ensure that rational thinking prevails. 1. Neighborhood trends matter. Google earth doesn’t tell the entire story. A site visit is worth the time and expense. Also, engage a professional familiar with the property type and local market to provide an objective assessment that will reveal opportunities and potential problems associated with planned rezoning, future developments, transportation changes, or market trends. 2. Physical condition of property Get an inspection! Hidden conditions can be very costly. A pound of prevention…well, you know. 3.

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