Multifamily and industrial real estate is bouncing back from the COVID-19 crisis and the uptick in confidential agreements proves it, according to a new report from real estate company CBRE.
Signed confidentiality agreements at the end of July were down only 17% compared to July 2019, according to the CBRE, which noted July’s figures were a significant improvement from the dismal 74% decrease in confidentiality agreements signed in April and May.
Notably, confidentiality agreements signed in Q2 for industrial and multifamily proprieties reached 46% and 42% of the last two years’ average Q2 levels. The industrial and multifamily progress surpassed confidentiality agreements signed for retail (37%), hotels (35%) and office (32%) properties.
CBRE argued that the increased confidentiality agreements could be a harbinger of a recovering commercial real estate sector. To be sure, CBRE noted coronavirus health concerns and the embracement of remote working arrangements has weakened some office properties’ rental outlook.
Still, operational office assets such as life sciences facilities, data centers and single-tenant buildings have proven popular during COVID-19 as e-commerce, notably online grocery shopping, and the expansion of supply chains grows. Such resilience and growing popularity offers investors income stability, CBRE wrote.
However, while some commercial real estate transactions are beginning to recover, many property investors are requesting and obtaining price reductions. Property values are expected to decline 10% to 20% by year’s end, which will cause a moderate rise in cap rates, CBRE wrote. But July sales also indicate cap rates of Class-A industrial and multifamily assets were more stable in Q2 compared to other asset types.
Indeed, according to CBRE’s property sales tracking, the retail sector’s Q2 2020 Class-A cap rate was 5% compared to 4.5% in Q2 2019 but the office sector’s Class-A cap rate in Q2 2020 increased only slightly from Q2 2019′s 4.2%.
To fully return to pre-COVID cap rates within three years, the recovery will likely be led by “value-add” investors with significant capital and investors seeking an alternative to low-yielding bonds, CBRE wrote.
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