Commercial Investment Real Estate

JUL-AUG 2017

Commercial Investment Real Estate is the magazine of the CCIM Institute, the leading provider of commercial real estate education. CIRE covers market trends, current developments, and business strategies within the commercial real estate field.

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Page 31 of 54

CCIM.COM July | August 2017 27 The Federal Reserve has made its intentions clear as it plans to raise short-term borrowing rates. The ques- tion remains as to whether it will stay that course in the second half of the year, and whether long-term rates will follow suit. At this stage of the cycle, it seems almost inevitable that the extended period of historically low interest rates has finally run its course. "Our view, like many, is that long-term rates should move moderately higher this year to between 2.5 and 3 percent and then press over 3 percent as we head into 2018," says Kenneth Riggs Jr., CCIM, CRE, MAI, presi- dent of Situs RERC in Chicago, a real estate valuation advisory firm. Yet whether those higher rates materialize remains to be seen. "I have been predicting a 100-basis-point increase in the 10-year Treasury for the past eight years, and I have been wrong eight years in a row — as have most economists on the planet," says Spencer Levy, Americas Head of Research for CBRE in the New York City metro area. After the presidential election, the 10-year Treasury note climbed to a high of about 2.65 percent. It has since dropped lower and was hovering at about 2.28 percent as of late April. The inability of the Trump administration, at least in its first attempt, to pass healthcare reform was damaging to perceptions of U.S. growth expectations. That has mani- fested itself, not only in people being less optimistic, but also in a drop in the 10-year Treasury, Levy notes. Uncertainty on interest rates and the implications for commercial real estate values and pricing has created a drag on investment sales. Transaction activity across all property types slowed in Q1 2017 to $75.7 billion, which was down 35 percent compared to the $116 bil- lion recorded during the same period a year ago and decreased 46 percent compared to the $139 billion in Q1 2015, according to Real Capital Analytics. Given the late stage of the cycle, investors are more selective and cautious, according to Riggs. "There are still buyers and sellers. However, there are not as many buyers as there were 12 months ago, and we see that in the number of transactions that are being completed," he says. Commercial Real Estate Transaction Volume Sources: 2005–2016, Real Capital Analytics; 2017–2019, ULI consensus forecast. Note: The previous ULI consensus forecast (released in October 2016) projected $450 and $428, respectively, for 2017 and 2018. At the same time, a significant amount of investment capital in the market needs to be deployed. In addition, the cost of capital remains historically low for borrow- ers. A tremendous amount of capital is out there from a diverse variety of sources. The one exception is bank construction lending due to regulatory pressure, Levy says. "Access to capital for everything except speculative construction has never been stronger," he adds. Ten-Year Treasury Rate Sources: 2005–2016 (YE), U.S. Federal Reserve; 2017–2019 (YE), ULI consensus forecast. Note: The previous ULI consensus forecast (released in October 2016) projected 2.2% and 2.5%, respectively, for 2017 and 2018. 2007 2006 2005 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 4.4% 4.7% 4.0% 1.9% 2.5% 3.0% 1.8% 2.2% 2.3% 2.8% 3.2% 3.2% 2.3% 3.9% 3.3% Actual Forecast 20-Year Avg. (3.78%) 2007 2006 2005 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 $371 $431 $571 $234 $489 $364 $299 $433 $547 $450 $450 $430 $176 $69 $150 Actual Forecast 20-Year Avg. ($293) Billions of Dollars Changing Capital Costs by Beth Mattson-Teig

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