Tag Archive for: inflation

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After a banner year of CRE investment in 2021, 2022 is off to a solid start.

Reports from both Colliers and CBRE for the first three months of this year found that investment in CRE is up and, by some accounts, setting records.

U.S. transaction volume hit $161B, a first-quarter all-time high, Colliers found. CBRE clocked total transaction volume at $150.4B, which was a 45% increase over the same time the year before.

Volume was up for all asset classes, but unsurprisingly, multifamily took the top spot, capturing $63B, according to Colliers. That amounts to a 56% increase year-over-year and sets a new record for multifamily, according to Colliers.

By CBRE’s count, multifamily also took the lead, but CBRE found it garnered $57B in investment volume, a 42% increase over the previous year’s first quarter. It is common for brokerages to have different numbers based on their research metrics, including size of deals tracked.

Greater New York and greater LA were in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots for transactions, respectively, CBRE found. New York saw $63B worth of deals, while greater LA trailed closely behind with $62B worth of transactions.

Earlier this year, CBRE forecast that even after 2021’s record highs, CRE investment would continue to grow in 2022.

Though interest rates are moving upward and inflation is soaring, these factors haven’t had an impact on CRE yet, Colliers said, though it also noted those would likely be reflected in data later in the year because there is a lag between interest rates being hiked and deal flow effects.

CRE is often called an inflation hedge, and the interest in CRE this year could be seen as confirmation that investors view property as an investment that could withstand the uptick, but now some investors have begun to make moves that indicate they aren’t sure how much longer that will hold true.

 

Source: Bisnow

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The residential real estate market has received quite a bit of attention over the last two years, and for good reason.

The housing market has become so tight that inventory is extremely hard to come by in nearly every market, and prices are now higher than ever for homes. The properties that are listed for sale typically get snatched up in record time—and often sell for higher than asking price—which has made it tough for most buyers to compete.

Case in point: A moderately priced home recently went for sale in Raleigh, North Carolina, and it was absolutely inundated by potential buyers searching for affordable properties. That mad dash by buyers was enough to make national headlines, but any buyer who’s looked for property in the last two years was almost certainly not surprised by the overwhelming interest. That’s just part of what buyers face when looking for property in a red-hot housing market.

But the property buying frenzy that has occurred recently has hardly been limited to the residential housing market. Commercial real estate transactions have also exploded—with a surprising surge in transactions occurring over the last year. Throughout 2021, investors big and small snatched up everything from apartment buildings, warehouses, and distribution centers to other types of commercial properties, such as hotels. As of the second quarter of 2021, multifamily property sales were up 26% year over year and nonresidential properties were up 16% compared to the year prior.

There were also increases in sales rates across all commercial property types. The rampant demand for commercial properties also led to $193 billion in commercial real estate transactions occurring in the third quarter of 2021—and a record $809 billion in commercial property sales for all of 2021.

So what exactly drove the surge in commercial real estate transactions throughout 2021—and why? EquityMultiple compiled a list of six important trends in the commercial real estate markets during 2021, covering topics from the rise of individual investors to the impact of the federal reserve’s pandemic policies. Here’s what you should know.

The lower bond prices caused key bond market indices to post their first losses since 2013, and led investors to look for other ways to put their money to work, which included commercial real estate securities, real estate investment trusts, and other commercial property investments. While potentially risky, commercial real estate transactions can be lucrative for investors, with annual yields averaging between 6% and 12%, with potential for significant appreciation depending on market conditions and other factors. That means investing in commercial real estate has the potential for a significantly higher return on investment when compared to the average return on bonds.

These loans were then converted into commercial mortgage securities, which are offered to individual investors, investment firms, and other financial management companies as shares. By doing this, swaths of investors were able to buy into commercial real estate transactions without having to fund the full purchase of the physical properties or land. Apartment buildings, life science labs, and industrial properties—which were expected to yield higher returns than other commercial properties, such as shopping malls or retail centers—were especially sought after. These types of commercial properties yielded more than $193 billion in sales during the third quarter of 2021.

In turn, the demand for distribution centers surged, and vacancy rates at these properties reached historic lows. That led investors to capitalize on the trend by buying distribution centers and then rake in the profits from the high lease prices. Rampant supply chain shortages also made it difficult to develop more of these types of properties, which only added more fuel to the fire. Distribution centers and warehouses were suddenly selling for a premium, and investors were willing to pay the price for these properties, which kept transaction rates high.

By purchasing apartment buildings, commercial property investors are able to capitalize on the opportunity to profit from the increased rent prices that occurred. In 2021, rent increased by an average of 11%—or three times the normal rate—and it has only continued to increase from there. As of February 2022, the average national rent price for one-bedroom units was up 22.6% year over year, and two-bedroom rent was up an average of 20.4%.

As such, it can be tough for small investors to qualify, which has led them to set their sights on other options such as real estate crowdfunding, which opens access to commercial real estate transitions and other private fund structures. Another option includes open-ended funds, known as non-traded real estate investment trusts. Non-traded REITs accounted for about 42% of the alternative investment market in 2021, with about $36.5 billion total in fundraising that year alone. Part of the draw is that, unlike most traditional REITs, investors can buy into non-traded REITs for as little as $2,500—and there’s an opportunity for big returns in exchange. Most non-traded REITs have been paying dividends above 5%, which is competitive—and often beats—other types of fixed-income investments.

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Retailers, third-party logistics firms and e-commerce groups alike are eating up the most big-box warehouse space in today’s red-hot market.

Retailers and wholesalers accounted for the most industrial deals at 200,000 square feet or larger last year, or 35.8% of all leasing activity, a considerable increase from 24.7% in 2020, according to CBRE Group Inc. E-commerce fell from the No. 1 spot in 2020 to third last year, accounting for 10.7% of all deals, while 3PLs grew from 25.8% to 32.2%, ranking No. 2 among large industrial leases in both 2020 and 2021.

Propelled by a surge in online ordering, and changes to consumer preferences in part because of the pandemic, retailers and 3PLs have ramped up their distribution networks considerably in recent years. That demand is expected to be sustained this year, and could become even more frenzied with the recent surge in gas prices.

The cost of regular gas has risen nationally 20.9% in the past month, from an about $3.50 a gallon to $4.32 on Tuesday, according to figures from Heathrow, Florida-based American Automobile Association Inc.

James Breeze, senior director and global head of industrial and logistics research at CBRE, said transportation accounts for at least 50% of a typical industrial occupier’s costs, even before the recent hike in inflation and oil prices. But, largely because of sanctions imposed on Russia from the war in Ukraine, oil prices have risen dramatically, although Brent crude futures — a key benchmark for oil prices — just began to decline. National gas prices were down 0.2% between Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15, according to AAA.

“Any run-up in transportation costs will likely outpace warehouse rent growth, even while that’s growing at a rapid clip, which could result in even more demand for warehouse space,” Breeze said.

Carolyn Salzer, senior research manager of industrial logistics at Cushman & Wakefield PLC said higher gas prices could have a ripple effect on the industrial market, depending on the user and their supply-chain model. Both Salzer and Breeze said real estate costs for warehouse users have typically been about 5% of a company’s costs but, more recently, that’s gotten closer to 10%, Salzer said.

“If you bite the bullet and pay the more expensive rent to be close to the population center, and be more competitive with the labor pool and provide easier options for commuters to get to where you’re located, it can cut your transportation costs on gas and mileage in general,” Salzer continued.

Cushman & Wakefield is forecasting rent growth for warehouse and logistics space will rise by more than 15% in the next two years. Class A and new construction rents are anticipated to grow at an even higher rate. Those rental surges are creating a squeeze for some users, with tenants looking at lease terms sooner than what’s typical, or negotiating an early renewal or a smaller extension to resize a facility or consider real estate farther out, Salzer said.

But, Breeze said, for most industrial users today, higher rental rates generally aren’t causing companies to hit the brakes on expansion because they need the space to store inventory and lower transportation costs.

Salzer said she anticipates e-commerce users will occupy about the same share of the market it has since the pandemic, or 40%. That’s compared to 28.2% of all industrial absorption from 2016 through 2019, according to Cushman. Many retailers are opting to work with 3PLs to bolster their supply chains, which will continue to comprise demand in 2022 and beyond.

“CBRE so far this year has seen ramped-up leasing activity for groups that deal in building and construction materials, as well as medical supplies, which typically represent a lower share of the overall warehouse market, Breeze said. “That’ll likely mean a more diversified occupier base this year.”

 

Source: SFBJ

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Supply chain problems, labor shortages, and the housing shortage are all fueling inflation to eye-popping levels – and for CRE investors, that will mean greater competition for assets.

Headline inflation is up 7.1% from last year, the biggest uptick since 1982. And that rising inflationary pressure is forcing the Fed to switch gears and tighten policy.

“This will in turn put upward pressure on interest rates, raising the cost of capital for CRE investors,” says Marcus & Millichap’s John Chang.

Supply chain is the first contributing factor to inflationary pressures.

“It’s hard to move products from the manufacturers to the customers,” Chang says.

He points to shortages in raw materials, limitations on foreign port capacity, shipping container shortages, backlogs at domestic ports like those in Los Angeles and Long Beach, and a shortage of trucks.

“Basically, people want to buy more stuff than our supply chain can handle right now, so there are shortages and that means prices go up,” Chang says.

Retail sales are up 16% over 2019 numbers, while the amount of product moved by trucks in the US is down 5.1% over the same period.

The second issue? Labor shortages, which continue to stoke inflation.

“Quite simply, the US has never experienced a labor shortage like this,” Chang says. “At least not in the last 22 years, when records have been kept. As a result, companies are competing for personnel, and that’s driving up wages.”

Average hourly earnings are up 5% over last year, and sectors like accommodations and food services have seen labor cost increases of more than 15%.

“Rising wages create broad-based long-term inflation,” Chang says.

The third challenge is the housing shortage: there are not enough houses to buy or apartments to rent right now, and the problem will likely continue at least in the near term. There are currently about 1 million houses for sale in the US right now, about two months’ worth of supply; typically, four to six months’ worth of supply is required to maintain stability in the market.  Housing prices shot up 14.9% last year in response to the shortage.

In addition, there are only about 480,000 apartments available for rent, a vacancy rate of 2.6%, the lowest on record. Rents rose 15.5% last year.

“The Fed will be taking action to curtail the rising costs,” Chang says.

He notes that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has already announced plans to accelerate the end of quantitative easing that was put in place during the pandemic, and says this will likely put upward pressure on long-term interest rates. The overnight rate is also on track to increase three times or more this year, which will put upward pressure on short term interest rates.

“As a result, interest rates are likely to continue to rise,” Chang says.

The ten-year Treasury rate is already up about 30 basis points from the beginning of December to a little over 1.7%. For investors, this will equate to more competition.

“Commercial real estate is viewed as one of the best places to invest money during periods of high inflation, especially properties that can increase rents with the market, like apartments, hotels, and self-storage properties,” Chang says. “Rising interest rates, and increased investor demand, implies that levered yields will compress this year. Basically, more commercial real estate buyer competition will push cap rates lower while the cost of capital, or interest rates, rise. That means CRE levered returns may tighten. But several property types still offer higher yields, like well-positioned office assets, retail assets, medical office buildings and some hotels, and properties in softer markets harder-hit by COVID restrictions could also offer higher yields and stronger multi-year returns.

 

Source: GlobeSt

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A report just released by the Federal Reserve warns that soaring commercial real estate prices across the country could harm financial markets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The warning came from the Fed’s first-ever financial stability report, which cited “elevated asset prices, historically high debt owed by U.S. businesses and rising issuances of risky debt” as factors posing the biggest problems for the country’s financial system. The report also pointed to asset bubbles, and not inflation, as the impetus for the past two recessions.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell spoke about the subject  at The Economic Club of New York on November 28th.

 

Source: The Real Deal