Despite seasonal slowdown, Phoenix commercial real estate sector off to strong start in 2014








Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

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May 30, 2014, 2:38pm MST Kristena Hansen Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal

Things have been slowing down in metro Phoenix’s commercial real estate sector — as they usually do during the first three months of the year — but the overall landscape is looking much rosier than it did a year ago.

After a bustling last half of 2013, the buying and selling of Valley shopping centers, warehouses and especially offices took a dip between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year, according to a new report by brokerage Colliers International in Phoenix.

But compared with 12 months ago — when the so-called “fiscal cliff” and other factors put a damper on the investment marketplace — commercial activity and prices Valleywide are up across the board.

“The year has started stronger than it started in 2013 … 2014 overall is going to be a strong year for investment property sales,” said Mindy Korth, executive vice president of Colliers’ Phoenix office.

Take the office sector, for instance.

There were 50 percent more office transactions than a year ago, even despite a 35 percent drop from the fourth quarter, the report said. These office buildings also traded hands at a much higher value — up 24 percent from the median price-per-square-foot for all of 2013.

As for industrial space, transactions dipped 13 percent from the fourth quarter but still were up 25 percent year-over-year, the report said. Industrial was the only sector, however, that saw prices slightly decline from the 2013 average. But Korth explained that industrial is merely recalibrating from a handful of unusually large transactions last year — such as Apple’s new manufacturing facility in Mesa — that pushed the overall price-per-square-foot upward.

Several factors have boosted commercial investor confidence this year, such as somewhat easier access to loans, still-low interest rates and increasing tenant rental rates, Korth said.

A recent Federal Reserve survey found that domestic banks eased some standards for business loans, including commercial real estate, during the first quarter in response to rising demand and competition from other lenders.

“Interest rates are still at all-time lows,” Korth said. “They’re able to take advantage of the low interest rates and pay more for the property.”

The fact that landlords are in a better position to increase rental rates, which puts more cash in their pockets, has been another enticing factor for property investors.

“Now that people understand that rental rates will be rising … there’s the ability to project how the rents will improve as the leases roll, so investors are more confident about how to evaluate their investment,” Korth said.

Kristena Hansen covers residential and commercial real estate.



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I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.





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