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Blog » Money Tips » Commercial Real Estate: Crisis and Opportunities

Commercial Real Estate: Crisis and Opportunities

Updated on February 22nd, 2024
crisis and opportunities

The commercial real estate market has been in turmoil over the past two years, experiencing a significant downturn. The market has seen a 40% drawdown since early 2022. The severity of this decline has been so extreme that it has been likened to “blood in the streets,” a phrase often used to describe a market that has been heavily sold off and is potentially ripe for savvy investors to step in.

Understanding the current state of commercial real estate

The decimation of the commercial real estate market can be attributed to two primary factors. The first is the rise of remote work, which has decreased demand for office space. As more people work from home, the need for physical office locations has diminished, leading to a surplus of vacant commercial properties.

The second factor is the structure of commercial real estate financing, which has exacerbated the impact of this trend. Many commercial properties are financed with adjustable-rate mortgages, which means that the cost of borrowing can increase when interest rates rise. As a result, property owners face a double whammy of lower rental income due to decreased demand and higher mortgage payments due to rising rates.

Identifying opportunities amidst the crisis

Despite the bleak picture painted by the current state of the commercial real estate market, it presents a generational buying opportunity for those who know where to look. This opportunity arises from a significant decrease in the supply of commercial properties coming to market. Over the past two years, there has been a 65% reduction in new supply, creating a potential imbalance between supply and demand that could benefit investors.

However, the key to capitalizing on this opportunity is not to buy commercial real estate stocks or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). While these investment vehicles can provide exposure to the commercial real estate market, they also come with their own set of risks and challenges.

The generational buying opportunity: bonds

The real generational buying opportunity lies in bonds. Bonds are debt securities issued by corporations or governments to raise capital. Investors who purchase bonds essentially lend money to the issuer in exchange for periodic interest payments and the return of the principal amount at maturity.

In the context of commercial real estate, bonds can provide a way for investors to gain market exposure without needing to own property directly. This can be particularly attractive in the current environment, where the risks associated with property ownership are heightened.

Moreover, bonds can offer a degree of stability and predictability, often lacking in other types of investments. The interest payments on bonds are fixed, providing a steady income stream for investors. Additionally, the return of the principal amount at maturity can provide a measure of capital preservation.

In conclusion, while the commercial real estate market has been hard hit over the past two years, the current environment presents a unique buying opportunity for those who know where to look. By focusing on bonds rather than stocks or REITs, investors can potentially capitalize on the current market dynamics while benefiting from the stability and predictability that bonds offer.

[Related: Which Is Better for Retirement: Cryptocurrency or Real Estate?]


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the current state of the commercial real estate market?

The commercial real estate market has experienced a significant downturn over the past two years, with a 40% drawdown since early 2022. This is primarily due to the rise of remote work, leading to decreased demand for office space and the structure of commercial real estate financing.

Q. What factors have contributed to the downturn in the commercial real estate market?

The downturn in the commercial real estate market can be attributed to the rise of remote work, which has decreased the demand for office space and the structure of commercial real estate financing. Many commercial properties are financed with adjustable-rate mortgages, which can increase the cost of borrowing when interest rates rise.

Q. Are there any opportunities in the current commercial real estate market?

Despite the downturn, the current state of the commercial real estate market presents a generational buying opportunity. This arises from a significant decrease in the supply of commercial properties coming to market, creating a potential imbalance between supply and demand that could benefit investors.

Q. What is the suggested investment strategy in the current commercial real estate market?

The suggested investment strategy focuses on bonds rather than commercial real estate stocks or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Bonds can provide a way for investors to gain exposure to the market without the need to directly own property directly, offering a degree of stability and predictability.

Q. Why are bonds considered a good investment in the commercial real estate market?

Bonds are considered a good investment as they provide a steady income stream for investors through fixed-interest payments. Additionally, the return of the principal amount at maturity can provide a measure of capital preservation. This can be particularly attractive in the current environment, where the risks associated with property ownership are heightened.

Taylor Sohns MBA, CIMA®, CFP®

Taylor Sohns MBA, CIMA®, CFP®

Taylor Sohns is the Co-Founder at LifeGoal Investments. He received his MBA in Finance. He currently has his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Taylor has spent decades on Wall Street helping create wealth.

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