RCM Report: Retail Investors Still Buying

RCM Report: Retail Investors Still Buying

May 2018

Real Capital Markets Report: Retail Investors Still in Buying Mode

Retail investors are still in a buying mode, as they continue to focus on finding assets that can meet the changing needs of today’s consumers and produce desirable returns, according to Real Capital Markets’ May 2018 Retail Investor Sentiment Report.

While big box vacancies and high-profile retail store closures continue to adversely affect parts of the industry, investors surveyed noted optimism in other retail segments. Retail owners who embrace new models—whether they are experiential or contain some variation of mixed use—are considered to be in the best position to succeed in today’s retail environment.

“Retail may be the most diverse and bifurcated of all commercial real estate asset classes,” said Steve Shanahan, Executive Managing Director, Real Capital Markets. “Certain subsets of retail perform well, are in great demand and push the market in terms of price and value. Others have issues and are part of what is leading investors to consider other options, such as exploring other asset types.”

In May 2018, RCM surveyed its U.S. database of retail investors to gauge their sentiment on various investment related topics. Highlights of the 2018 RCM Retail Investor Sentiment Report include:

  • The State of Retail is Most Impactful—The overarching state of the retail market is having the greatest impact on retail property investing.
  • Investors are Expanding Into Alternative Asset Classes—Almost 70 percent of investors surveyed categorize themselves as net buyers with only 11 percent taking a wait and see attitude.
  • Anchored Shopping Centers Remain the Preferred Retail Investment—Especially grocery-anchored centers—by a greater margin in 2018 than in 2017. Nearly half of investors, 48 percent, said anchored centers are the most attractive retail investment today compared to strip centers, which were characterized as the most attractive by 23 percent.
  • Greatest Threat is Big Box Vacancy—With new big box bankruptcies and previously announced store closures taking place, investors’ views on the greatest threat to retail investing has changed. Big box vacancy is now viewed as the greatest threat, cited by 39 percent of investors.
  • The Call for Core and Value—Many buyers—private capital, entrepreneurs, foreign investors and private equity investors—primarily are acting when a value component is present. The survey results echo that finding that value-add remains a popular strategy, with 52 percent seeking properties where they can create value.

Industrial Real Estate Investment Still Strong

RCM Media image1 SOCIAL

A Real Capital Markets and SIOR Report found investors bullish on industrial real estate heading into 2018.

Industrial real estate investment is expected to continue its healthy run into 2018, as strong leasing, construction, and investment sales fuel the market, according to the recent Real Capital Markets (RCM)/SIOR Investment Sentiment Report. What’s driving this record investment? It’s easy to point to e-commerce as a major force, but that is just one part of the story, according to survey respondents.

Here are 5 key findings from the report:

  • Volume for 2018? — 90.3% of investors and brokers across the country say investment levels will at least stay the same going into 2018, with many predicting a slight increase in activity.
  • E-commerce Effect — E-commerce is having the greatest impact on market activity, but is not the only factor driving industrial activity. There is growth in light manufacturing, specialty food manufacturing and general corporate distribution space, for example. Also, many corporations are expanding their distribution space needs, moving to larger or newer facilities. Other companies are using warehouse and distribution space for newer manufacturing needs — such as recycled materials or green energy related uses.
  • Investment sales pricing — is expected to stay the same (92.7% of respondents) or rise by 5% or more going into 2018 (33.8% of respondents).
  • Watch out for overbuilding — 40.6% of investors say that overbuilding is the greatest threat to the industrial market.
  • Mid-size and modern new buildings win out — 35.8% of respondents prefer new, mid-size, modern, multi-tenant building

This current industrial market is unique in its longevity — and the array of market fundaments that are propelling activity. With growth in the supply chain, corporate distribution space realignment, and the continued expansion of e-commerce, it’s difficult to see an end in sight for investment in industrial real estate.

Greatest Threat to Retail? E-commerce and Shifting Consumers Habits

Greatest Threat to Retail? E-commerce and Shifting Consumers Habits

June 2017

rossevelt-field-mall

While e-commerce is often blamed for struggles in the retail sector, there are several other factors at play, according to Real Capital Markets’ recently released 2017 Retail Sentiment Report, which gauged opinions from investors across the U.S. The study examines changing consumer habits and how some survey respondents are trying to reinvent their approach to retail.

Among the study findings are:

  • Shifting consumer buying habits are the greatest threat to the industry. From e-commerce to in-store pickup and attitudes toward power shopping centers, shifting consumer habits have the eye of retailers as they try to navigate this current retail climate. Disruption has hit the retail industry and investors are aware of its impact and looking for ways to mitigate risks.
  • Most investors feel reinvention is the key to solving the industry’s greatest issues. In light of large tenant shake-ups and e-commerce pressures, investors are looking long-term at where retail is heading and what investments make sense.
  • Anchored shopping centers are the preferred property type for investors by a margin of 3:1. In this category, centers anchored by grocery tenants are preferred, as this sector is considered secure against e-commerce.
  • More than 57 percent of investors surveyed are net buyers of retail properties, an indication investors looking for opportunities and the ability to “balance” portfolios previously buoyed by other asset types.
Commercial Real Estate Trends for 2017

Commercial Real Estate Trends for 2017

The commercial real estate industry has been on a strong cycle for several years. The big question is: How long will it continue? The latest Emerging Trends Report by PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and the Urban Land Institute, has the long view on the market. Here’s the latest.

The Strong Investment Sectors for 2017?

pjp_interior-industrial-center

Supply chain and e-commerce growth continues to drive Industrial real estate leasing and investment.

Industrial — continues to top the charts, due to the growth in e-commerce and the general supply chain.  Well located, institutional quality distribution space has been in short supply for several years across the country. While new construction has been strong, it will take time to lease and sell the buildings and, thus, fill all the demand. Bottom line: investors like the stability and long-term growth of this sector and will continue to seek strong assets in primary, secondary and even outlying markets.

Senior Housing/Retirement Homes — these will continue to be in favor, due to the aging population and need for community residences and related services.

 

oakland-urban-retail-centerUrban Mixed-Use Developments — these vibrant, urban developments that combines residential, retail, offices and more continue to draw Millennials and Baby Boomers alike — and should guide development going into 2017 and beyond.

The Emerging Trends report also predicts:

nyc skyline

Global commercial real estate should be stable in 2017

More stability in market cycles — Look for less volatility, as lessons learned from the global financial meltdown will guide decisions moving forward. While construction still lags during this post-recession era, it should continue at a tempered pace.

Multi-Use– or “Optionality” is in — the trend toward developers and investors seeking flexible, multi-use projects. In this commercial real estate market, buildings that can be adjusted to satisfy multiple tenants and changing neighborhoods are ideal. It lets owners maximize rents and seek the highest and best use.Bisnow multifamily yardi

Construction costs to rise due to labor issues — Workers who left during the recession have been slow to return, slowing production and increasing costs. With vacancy rates at record lows in many markets, construction has been a big factor in filling long-term demand. Without an adequate number of workers, costs will rise.

Cap rates could go lower in 2017 — As investors continue to chase deals and limited supply and tempered construction present continued challenges.

 

 

Self-Storage Market Continues to Offer Investment Opportunities

Self-Storage Market Continues to Offer Investment Opportunities

Self-storage

An iStorage facility in California.

Sept. 2016

With the self-storage industry on a roll of late, one Colorado-based REIT is betting that storage will continue to be a good investment.

Commercial Property Executive has a story detailing National Storage Affiliates Trust’s forming of a joint venture with a major state pension fund to purchase a 66-property iStorage portfolio for approximately $630 million. The deal includes between 4 and 5 million square feet of rentable self-storage space in more than 36,000 storage units across 12 states.

NSA also acquired the iStorage property management company and brand in a separate deal.

The purchase strengthens NSA’s hold in many of its existing markets — most notably California and Florida, where iStorage had a major presence — and introduces it to new markets in New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Marcus & Millichap Report

NSA isn’t alone in seeking out self-storage property. Marcus & Millichap has released a research report that projects good things for the self-storage market in the second half of 2016. Demand for storage, combined with a lack of supply, is driving a rise in occupancy and rents. That’s true for both climate-controlled facilities and properties without climate controls.

Investors are likely drawn to self storage because of its status as a secure option for long-term profits. With that in mind, look for similar acquisitions of storage properties the rest of the year.

Hotel Owners Get Creative In Search Of Revenue Growth

Hotel Owners Get Creative In Search Of Revenue Growth

Hotel

The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Photo via NREI)

June 2016

The performance of the hotel industry has been shaky in 2016, forcing owners and investors to get creative when it comes to finding ways to squeeze every last dollar out of their properties.

With revenue per room growth stalled, the focus has shifted to total revenue growth. NREI recently outlined a few of the ways major hotel brands are maximizing their profits:

Rightsizing: NREI cites the example of Marriott, which purchased — and then “rightsized” — the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Marriott launched a $6 million renovation, focusing on increasing the available meeting space and making the hotel’s restaurant and bar more appealing. By identifying a few key opportunities with a chance for good return on investment, Marriott was able to make the hotel more profitable.

Beverly Hills Marriott

The entrance to the renovated Marriott Beverly Hills Hotel. (Photo via Marriott)

Repositioning: Savvy investors are targeting hotels that hit a lot of things on their checklist but need to be reinvigorated. The Marriott Beverly Hills Hotel was one such case, receiving a complete “gutting and reskinning” after it was purchased for $21 million. The reason? Marriott saw an opportunity given that the next closest hotel was more than 6 miles away. NREI also described the example of an island hotel that moved away from single and double occupancy rooms in favor of group rooms, resulting in year-to-year revenue growth of 19 percent.

Creating more hotel space: Some hotels that are overloaded with amenities — think pools, restaurants and gyms — are turning those areas into boutique villas or residence lots. These do more to grow revenue.

Adding residences: Speaking of residence lots, some hotels are considering the positive effects of adding branded residences. These residences increase spending by more permanent guests. However, there is risk involved. Hotels will feel the burn of revenue losses if the residences do not sell.

Supply concerns are weighing on the hotel industry. Until revenue per room rates start to rise again, hotel owners and investors will need to continue finding creative ways to bring in money.

Cautious Optimism on Investment; Non-Gateway Markets Rule

Cautious Optimism on Investment; Non-Gateway Markets Rule

May 2016

Investment

Austin, Texas

How long will this strong CRE investment cycle last? That’s what’s on the minds of many CRE executives surveyed recently by DLA Piper. Among the key findings from the survey are:

  • Cautious optimism: We all know that CRE is cyclical. It’s been a good seven years of growth. About 62 percent of the executives surveyed are bullish about investment during the next year — down from 89 percent in the 2014 survey.
  • Non-gateway markets are king: As pricing in core markets continue to push out investors, cities such as Austin, Seattle, Denver and Raleigh are becoming the hot spots. This is particularly true among domestic investors, according to the report.
  • Record pricing, but reduced transaction volume: There was just $25.1 B in commercial property sales in February of 2016, down almost 50 percent from the previous year.
  • Foreign investment will continue: The U.S. is considered a safe haven and will continue to draw foreign investors into non-gateway markets and core markets (which are considered an even safer bet).
    Seattle

    Seattle, Washington

Among the top non-gateway cities to watch, according to the survey respondents, are:

  • Austin
  • Seattle
  • Miami
  • Denver
  • Nashville

See the law firm’s “State of the Market” survey for more.

Midwest Update: A Closer Look at Retail (and More)

Midwest Update: A Closer Look at Retail (and More)

March 2016

The retail sector has issues. The health care sector has opportunities. Chicago has a few huge commercial real estate projects that might just get off the ground after years of being dormant. These are just a few of the stories we’re tracking:

Retail

Photo via NREI Online

  • Retail woes: We wrote about retailers struggling to strike a balance between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores last week. NREI put together a list of 12 retailers who are in bad shape and have been forced to close physical stores. Radio Shack, Barnes & Noble and J.Crew all make the list. (Via NREI Online)
  • Are physical stores better for the environment? While we’re on the topic of retail, a recent study by Simon Property Group indicates brick-and-mortar shopping might actually be more sustainable than shopping online. Assuming consumers purchased the same goods online and in a physical location, the study found that online shopping had a 7 percent greater environmental impact over brick-and-mortar shopping every year. (Via REIT.com)
  • Fewer banks are lending a hand: As economic growth in the U.S. slows, it appears that lenders are getting more cautious about funding domestic real estate developments. A six-year recovery has meant good times for investors, but Mark Myers, the head of the commercial real estate business at Wells Fargo & Co., predicts that banks are going to change their approach to be more cautious this year. That could force landlords to look elsewhere for funding. (Via Bloomberg)
    The Old Main Post Office in Chicago is currently unused (photo via Wikimedia).

    The Old Main Post Office in Chicago is currently unused (photo via Wikimedia).

  • Playing the odds in Chicago: Crain’s has a fun look at four of Chicago’s biggest (and most controversial) real estate projects. Progress has been made on three of the properties in recent weeks, and all four have massive potential. Personal favorite: imagining what could be done with the Old Main Post Office in the West Loop. (Via Crain’s Chicago)
  • Opportunities in health care: John Wilson, president of Chicago-based HSA PrimeCare, outlined the types of properties and markets his company looks for in an interview with GlobeSt.com. Wilson called the health care sector fruitful and said there are even opportunities in secondary markets, provided those markets had strong hospital systems. Cities with universities or state capitals are also good markers. Wilson’s specific examples included Lincoln, Nebraska; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Columbus, Ohio. (Via GlobeSt)
Foreign Investment Continues to Fuel CRE Market

Foreign Investment Continues to Fuel CRE Market

February 2016

cross-border investors

Cross-border investors target industrial properties in 2015. (Photo via GlobeSt)

Cross-border investors seized a larger share of the U.S. market in 2015, continuing a buyer spree that has fueled the market for several years.

Research from Real Capital Analytics’ latest U.S. Capital Trends Report found that deal volume for cross-border investors rose 123 percent from 2014 to 2015. That gave that class of investors a 16 percent share of the deal activity in the market.

RCA found that cross-border investors targeted properties in both gateway cities and secondary markets. JLL reported similar findings in its latest U.S. Investment Outlook report. According to JLL, foreign investment in the U.S. broke a seven-year-old record high by more than $30 billion.

As Steve Collins, international director and president of JLL Capital Markets—Americas, told GlobeSt, “While we’re seeing volatility and uncertainty in parts of the financial markets, the relative strength of economic and leasing fundamentals continues to position the United States as an attractive, healthy and transparent market for cross-border investment.”

GlobeSt has a close look at the reports from Real Capital Analytics and JLL.

Other highlights from RCA’s report include:

  • Overseas buyers dominated U.S. industrial assets, purchasing more than any other group.
  • Institutional/fund capital sources represented 35 percent of apartment, office and hotel portfolios in 2015.
  • Digging deeper, those buyers accounted for 43 percent of apartment portfolio sales, a leap up from 24 percent in 2014.
  • Public investors fell back in the past year as volume dropped five percent.
90 North Buys $123M Saint-Gobain Campus in Philadelphia

90 North Buys $123M Saint-Gobain Campus in Philadelphia

February 2016

Saint-GobainThe Wall Street Journal has the latest on Open Slate client 90 North Real Estate Partners and its $123M acquisition near Philadelphia. Based in the UK, 90 North is known for its deep understanding of the global investment market and focus on stability and long-term value.

The 320K SF, two-building campus includes office and research and development space. 90 North and a unit of Arzan Financial Group of Kuwait bought the 65-acre campus in Malvern, PA, outside Philadelphia. Dan Cooper, head of North America for 90 North, had this to say about their strategy for buying the Saint-Gobain corporate HQ:

“We look for assets that can weather any industry or market cycle” — As global investors, 90 North looks at properties in the US and abroad and is drawn by assets that have the security of strong tenancy and the stability that the US market affords. “At the end of the day, we need to know that the asset will perform well and can weather any cycle or market downturn,” Cooper says. “When you have a tenant that has committed millions of dollars into renovating a building and then signs a long term lease, that’s what helps us sleep at night.”

Saint Gobain 2“It is a validation that suburban marketplaces remain extremely viable — The Saint-Gobain campus is 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia and is a sizable campus within a submarket known as the High Tech Corridor. With immediate access to the entire area—including downtown Philadelphia, the submarket is home to numerous innovative technology, medical, and pharmaceutical firms as well as excellent schools and residential neighborhoods.

“This type of scenario is playing out in many cities across the country,” Cooper says. “We saw it in Raleigh when we purchased the Lenovo Campus last year and we see it in cities such as Austin, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas.”

Check out the Wall Street Journal story here.

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