Pent-up CRE investors targeting quality commercial properties: PwC
Commercial real estate investors who have not seen enough distressed properties come available in the third quarter are keeping the pent-up capital in quality assets, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Korpacz Real Estate Investors survey. The report provides reviews of 31 different commercial real estate markets. In the third quarter, cap rates, or the return on the investment over the amount paid, declined in 26 of those markets over the past three months. Investors expect cap rates for the core assets they're invested in to either hold steady or decline through the rest of the year as interest rates remain low and debt markets continue to facilitate property trades. "Many investors were waiting to pounce on the anticipated overflow of underwater and distressed quality assets, but that scenario never quite materialized as expected," said Susan Smith, director of real estate advisory practice, at PwC, and editor-in-chief of the survey. "With the skittish economic recovery, little rent growth and minimal leasing velocity, a flight to quality is evident among investors. Sellers offering quality commercial real estate for sale are garnering a lot of attention." Investors are gaining more access to credit, according to PwC. Many investors surveyed said the lending freeze has improved but remains tough as underwriting standards remain strict. "We are getting a couple of deals done today that we surely could not have completed a year ago or even six months ago," one participant said. Any recovery in the commercial sector appears to be led by the apartment sector. According to PwC, fundamentals have bottomed in most markets. Occupancy and demand are showing improvements, too. Write to Jon Prior.