According to an Appraisal Institute newsletter, the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Korpacz Real Estate Investors Survey anticipates further deterioration in the U.S. commercial real estate market through the remainder of 2009 and into 2010 before recovering in 2012.
The biggest problem is that commercial real estate lags what happens in the economy,” Susan Smith, director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ real estate advisory service, told Bloomberg. “Companies are looking for ways to cut costs; many are continuing to reduce workers and are continuing to reduce their space needs.”
Survey respondents indicated that a wave of foreclosures and distressed sales may jump-start buying activity with investors seeking to purchase quality assets at cut-rate prices. “Some investors sense that near-term defaults with commercial banks will allow them to acquire quality assets at steep discounts, as banks may no longer be able to continue to ‘pretend and extend’ troubled loans and would be forced to place assets up for sale,” Smith said.
The 115 surveyed real estate firms noted that they expect commercial real estate prices to continue to fall or remain at their current level for at least the next six months. Respondents indicated that office rents in Manhattan and San Francisco, as well as suburban office rents across the country, may drop as much as 20 percent through 2010.
Office rents in Phoenix may drop 15 percent while rents in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Diego may drop as much as 10 percent. Strip malls built around big-box stores could see rent declines of as much as 10 percent, with regional mall rents falling by as much as 5 percent.
According to the survey, rental apartments are expected to lead the commercial market recovery starting in 2010 followed by the industrial and office sectors, which are expected to begin recovering in 2011 with a notable uptake in 2012. The retail sector, struggling in last place, is expected to lag behind with a slight recovery beginning in 2012.