There was an article in the Wall Street Journal today, page C10, that talks about Dubai and its troubled real estate investments. The article contained a very interesting statement: “There is no product out there, there is nothing to buy, and there’s lots of money out there that would love to buy”, a quote from Sam Zell who is considered by many to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on when to buy and when to sell.
Another part of the article pointed out that “banks and troubled borrowers haven’t flooded the market with cheap properties, even though rent and occupancy are still declining around the world, financing remains scarce, and defaults are soaring…that has left investors thirsting for deals”.
Yet another section points out “perversely, increased availability of good quality assets to buy would improve liquidity in the market as there is strong demand at present for limited stock” said the head of research for U.K. CBRE.
Could this all be, in other words, that the bottom of the market has come and gone with no real steals ever coming around? Perhaps this is because investors in real estate are typically in it for a long run, not a short haul, and as such they will not dump quality assets and instead will hold and adjust expectations and continue to enjoy the benefits of a relatively stable investment vehicle.
Further to my point is that this morning I reviewed a December 2009 rent roll for a high quality property that showed a very modest decline in rents from two years ago and I distinctly recall thinking 2 years ago that the rents for this particular property were high. This points me to the conclusion that high quality properties in high quality areas persevere despite significant changes in general market conditions.
So in the end the market didn’t get flooded with super-deals, lenders are creeping back in with great rates, and quality real estate remains relatively stable. This may be the actual bottom of the market.
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