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    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Commercial Property Market Update

    By JESSICA HOLZER August 13, 2008

    WASHINGTON -- Real-estate executives' outlook for the commercial-real-estate market has deteriorated as hopes dim for improvement during the next year, according to a Real Estate Roundtable survey.
    More than 80 out of 100 senior industry executives asked said the general market has worsened during the last 12 months.
    The share of executives expecting the market to bounce back even slightly in the coming year dropped to 53% in July from 63% in April.
    Respondents cited the credit squeeze and the weakening economy as the chief culprits hurting the commercial-real-estate market. Nearly 90% of respondents predicted that commercial-real-estate prices will drop or stay flat during the next 12 months.
    "Even though loan delinquencies to the sector are very low, the ongoing lack of credit for real estate has led to weaker property values and has stalled transactions," Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey D. DeBoer said.
    More than 80% of the executives surveyed said the availability of credit was "much worse" than it was a year earlier, although roughly two-thirds expect the debt market to improve during the coming year.
    Respondents were more optimistic about the equity market, with roughly half judging the availability of equity financing as "somewhat worse" than a year ago.
    However, more than half surveyed said that overall conditions in the real-estate market would be "somewhat better" over the next year.
    The survey was conducted during the third week of July.

    Chris' comments: Industry insiders seem to be telling us that the market has stalled but not so severely that a major recession is in the works. Rents/revenue seem to be holding up and even though CAP Rates are increasing, this in itself is not a bad development. According to insiders, it appears that a period of sluggishness over the next 12 months is in the offing. Not great but not too bad considering the residential market environment and asset price declines.

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