From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Posts Tagged ‘REIS

REIS reports on the office market

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Got an early peek this morning at the forthcoming office market report from ReisReports.  Like everything else in the economy today (except apartments), the operative word is “sluggish”.   Indeed, even in the bullish apartment market, the core driver is the sluggish economy turning “owners” into “renters”.

On the surface, the facts aren’t all that bad.  Office vacancy rates topped out above 17.5% in mid-2010, and have been on a slow trend downward.  However, for the last two quarters, the rate has stalled at 17.2%.  Quarterly absorptions have been in positive territory since early 2011, totalling about 4 millions square feet nationally in the 2nd quarter 2012, even in the face of the lowest office completions level since REIS began tracking data in 1999.  Rents remain at 2007 levels, with 0.3% gains in both asking and effective averages.

The reasons are obvious — continued fears from Europe (which may be abating, given very recent pronouncements from European central bankers), the close presidential election, and the very real fear of of the “fiscal cliff” in early 2013 contribute to an anemic jobs recovery.  Without new jobs, there is no demand for office space.  You do the math.

In most American cities, the stark reality on the skyline is the absence of high-rise cranes.  Given the very long pipeline for office construction, coupled with the difficulty financing in this sector, and it may be many years before we see this market turn fully around.

Written by johnkilpatrick

July 30, 2012 at 7:33 am

Apartment Investing — Cap Rate Divergence

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The fact that apartment “cap rates” are declining in the face of rising fundamentals is old news. (For the newbies — the “cap rate” is the ratio of net operating income, or NOI, to value or purchase price. If NOI is rising, then purchase prices must be rising even faster, indicating increased investor sentiment.) Indeed, as of April, nationwide, mean cap rates on apartments were back to early 2008 levels. (Again, for the newbies — cap rates on all property types rose during the recession, reflecting both declining fundamentals AND declining investor sentiment.)

The more interesting piece of news comes out of our friends at REIS, who just released a report today showing that Class “A” apartment cap rates have declined much faster than Class B/C, indicating that high-end, investment grade properties are much in favor today for their income by institutional investors.

Those same investors are wary of lower-grade apartment investments, although REIS suggests that this wariness should dissipate over time. This suggests some significant opportunities for developers, turn-around specialists, and other non-institutions during the coming months.

Written by johnkilpatrick

May 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

REIS reports on apartment & office markets

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Our friends at REIS just sent out their May ReisReports titled, “The Multifamily Gravy Train Keeps Rolling”. They report that 77 out of 82 major apartment markets that they track showed occupancy increases, up from 63 in the same quarter last year. Effective rents increased in 79 of these markets.

This contrasts with office performance — occupancies either improved or were flat in 42 of 82 markets, and effective rents only increased in 37, which is a slight improvement over 2010.

Click “here” for your own version of their reports, which we find very helpful here at Greenfield.

Written by johnkilpatrick

May 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

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