Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Some trends for you to chew on and some thoughts:

Pricing and activity regarding multifamily investments is stable and trending slightly up, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc. This is being driven by attractive financing still available through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, building starts for multifamily are down across the U.S.

My observation -- New construction being way down (a more than 50 percent decrease in new starts, according to Reed Construction Data), combined with home foreclosures that have residents looking for alternative housing is pushing occupancy up -- good news for owners.

Warehouse and industrial properties are having a tough time right now, due to declining employment and an insecure economy, according to PPR. A lot of new warehouse space has come online in the past several months, into vacancy rates that are some 20 percent higher than expected.

My observation -- Don't look for improvements until late into 2009 and more likely in 2010. Developers will curtail new development for 18 months or so, and vacancy rates will improve toward the end of that time frame.

Liquidity issues are also preventing some developers from getting started on new projects they had in the pipeline. PPR's outlook suggests that this lack of new supply across the board (office, multifamily, industrial/warehouse) is a good indicator. The flip side would be oversupply in a down cycle, and as a friend of mine in the business likes to say, "that would be a bad thing."

The bottom line? There are still opportunities out there but you have to search them out. Plus, get the funding issue settled early on rather than waiting until a contract is in place.

My two cents . . .

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