Commercial real estate transactions in the U.S. nearly reached an all-time high in 2015, but recent fluctuations in the global economy could make 2016 less lucrative for landlords.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Federal Reserve’s first interest-rate increase in nine years may contribute to the end of a historic run in which commercial real estate investors enjoyed 33 consecutive months of price growth.
While experts do not believe that real estate values are guaranteed to fall as a result of the Fed’s decision, it does indicate that prices aren’t likely to climb much higher in 2016.
“A lot of the smart money is saying it’s a better time to sell than to buy,” said Tad Philipp, a commercial-property debt analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “The warning light is on that the rate of appreciation is poised to decelerate.”
Investment sales for commercial properties in markets picked up steam early last year, rising more than 11% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2015. However, a slump in oil prices and slowing growth in China are threatening to crimp returns for investors moving forward.
Commercial property investments saw a notable uptick throughout 2015 as global financial markets floundered. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index lost 5.3%, and high-yield bonds lost 2.5% in the same period.
“It is unusual for commercial real estate to outperform both stocks and bonds by such a significant amount,” said Jeffrey Fisher, a professor emeritus of real estate at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
“In the long run, we expect real estate to have a return that falls somewhere between stocks and bonds,” Fisher added.
If commercial real estate is indeed set to take a step back in 2016, then some local Chicago investors did not get the memo.
According to Chicago Real Estate Daily, two Chicago office tenant brokers recently joined commercial property conglomerate Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to expand in the Windy City.
The brokers, Bob Chodos and Steve Levitas, are prepared to follow an active year of leasing and property sales in Chicago with more acquisitions as other investors sell real estate in response to the Fed’s interest-rate increase.
“There’s been a lot of leasing activity and it’s also been a time of consolidation in the industry,” Chodos said. “Newmark is very acquisitive and has been adding big teams in a lot of markets. In controlled studies published on http://hesca.net/ambien/ in adults using objective memory scores, no memory impairment was detected the day after taking Ambien. Chicago is a key market for them to expand and develop, and I think they view a selection of a team like ours as a step in building that.”
Newmark’s continued investment in Chicago real estate shows that there are some in the industry who do not project the same stagnation as other experts. U.S. commercial real estate transactions reached $546 billion this past year, compared to $432 billion in 2014.
While the pace of price appreciation has already started to slow, it remains to be seen if the “sell now” attitude will pay off for investors at the end of 2016.