A new research report from Fung Global Retail & Technology, an international think tank that follows retail and technology trends, uses hard data to outline what retail property owners and managers already know—store closing announcements this year have been off the charts.
Fung Global researchers found that year-to-date in 2017, store closing announcements in the U.S. increased by 97 percent year-over-year, to 3,296 locations. The majority of retailers closing stores are typical mall tenants—department store operators and apparel and electronics sellers. The chains with the highest number of announced store closings, for example, include apparel retailer Rue 21 and shoe seller Payless Inc., each with 400 closings apiece. Apparel chain The Limited comes in third, with 250 announced store closings.
The first three months of the year boded well for the industrial sector, which remains red-hot, hitting record low vacancies nationally and record net occupancy gains. Below are five key trends investors and commercial real estate players should be aware of within the industry.
National industrial vacancy levels hit 30-year lows this quarter. Vacancies continued to decline across the country by 20 basis points in Q1 to 5.3%. This is 300 basis points below the 10-year historical average of 8.3%, Cushman & Wakefield’s Industrial Market Beat reports.
The focus in commercial real estate finance is often on big national banks like JP Morgan or big foreign ones like Deutsche Bank, but it would be a mistake to overlook the Southern lender that’s been making waves in the commercial real estate industry, bringing a little bit of the Ozarks to the world of high finance.
Bank of the Ozarks, based in Little Rock, Ark., broke into CrediFi’s ranking of the top 10 New York City lenders in the fourth quarter of 2016 with over $500 million in loan originations and a 3.0 percent market share.
The bank had previously made the list in the first quarter of 2016, ranking as No. 7, with over $400 million in financing and a 2.4 percent share of New York City’s commercial real estate market, but dropped from the top 10 list in the second and third quarters.
U.S. commercial real estate prices have reached new highs, but the sector is a much safer place today than it was before the 2008 financial crisis.
Low capitalization rates — the net operating income a property generates relative to its price — might normally keep investors away, but low borrowing costs have made potential returns from commercial real estate attractive.
CRE Loan Growth Still Strong but Moderates in July as Analysts Sees More “Rationality” Return to the Market
Second quarter bank earnings results and early third quarter lending numbers clearly show U.S.-based banks have tightened their underwriting standards for CRE loans as they face increased scrutiny of their commercial real estate lending from bank examiners.
In fact, loan officers at domestic banks reported that the current standards are tighter now than they have been on average since 2005, according to the latest Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey from the Federal Reserve.
The tighter underwriting is showing up in shortened interest-only periods and lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratios as well.
It’s a tough time to pick the strongest apartment markets. That’s because the markets with the strongest demand from renters are also the places where developers are the most eager to build new projects. As a result, the strongest and weakest markets so far in 2016 tend to be places where some kind of surprise has upset developers’ calculations—for better or worse.
Strong despite new supply
Rents are growing quickly in a few cities, including Seattle and Nashville, Tenn., despite very high levels of new construction. “The San Francisco Bay Area, Denver and Seattle have easily been the best performing major markets this cycle,” says Jay Denton, vice president with data firm Axiometrics. “Of that group, Seattle is the only one that remains in the upper-tier of rent growth today.”
Read entire post in National Real Estate Investorhere.
It’s still the best time ever to take out a loan on an apartment property – thank in part to the “Brexit” vote in the U.K.
“You could argue that this environment today is the most favorable in history to refinance or close a new loan,” says Will Matthews, vice president and co-founder of the Southeast Multifamily Group for Colliers International.
Interest rates are extremely low and investors from around the world continue to pour money into U.S. apartment properties. That’s how it’s been since the Global Financial Crisis, when central banks around the world cut their interest rates and investors fled to the safest sovereign bonds, driving benchmark interest rates downward. Every time that dynamic seems about to change, some new bad news in the world economy resets the clock, and interest rates sink again. The vote in Britain to leave the EU, held June 23, was just the latest jolt.