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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Buying Spree in London

Overseas appetite for London property has gathered momentum in the week before Christmas, with foreign investors hitting the capital for a £1.3 billion ($2 billion) spending spree.

In a series of big-ticket deals, buyers from across Asia, Africa and Europe have snapped up skyscrapers, upmarket clothes shops and sprawling City office developments.

London has absorbed £10.1 billion of foreign investment since the middle of the year, more than double that attracted by Paris, which, at £5 billion, is the next biggest draw for international capital, according to global commercial property research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Buying Spree in London

Overseas appetite for London property has gathered momentum in the week before Christmas, with foreign investors hitting the capital for a £1.3 billion ($2 billion) spending spree.

In a series of big-ticket deals, buyers from across Asia, Africa and Europe have snapped up skyscrapers, upmarket clothes shops and sprawling City office developments.

London has absorbed £10.1 billion of foreign investment since the middle of the year, more than double that attracted by Paris, which, at £5 billion, is the next biggest draw for international capital, according to global commercial property research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Creative Spaces: An Emerging Trend

Workers roam with laptops, meet on sofas and scribble on walls at Facebook Inc.’s new Silicon Valley headquarters, where rusted steel beams, exposed heating ducts and plywood-covered corridors are part of the decor.

The office campus in Menlo Park, California, was renovated for $250 million in a “hacker” style intended to express the culture of the world’s largest social-networking company.

While most companies don’t efficiently use their offices, technology firms are leading the wave of an emerging trend-redesigned office space using nooks, kitchens and stairways as places where workers can meet on the fly.

“Creative space” is outperforming other property types, said Dan Fasulo, managing director of global property research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc., citing a Moody’s Investors Service index of prime buildings in six major cities with tech sectors. The measure gained almost 33 percent from its low two years ago, more than double the 15 percent advance for the broader commercial property index.

“They’ve seen their value skyrocket,” Fasulo said of the properties tracked in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. “A new generation of corporate leaders is looking at space-planning as a core part of business to increase productivity and keep people in the office. The old guard looked at it as an expense.”

Creative Spaces: An Emerging Trend

Workers roam with laptops, meet on sofas and scribble on walls at Facebook Inc.’s new Silicon Valley headquarters, where rusted steel beams, exposed heating ducts and plywood-covered corridors are part of the decor.

The office campus in Menlo Park, California, was renovated for $250 million in a “hacker” style intended to express the culture of the world’s largest social-networking company.

While most companies don’t efficiently use their offices, technology firms are leading the wave of an emerging trend-redesigned office space using nooks, kitchens and stairways as places where workers can meet on the fly.

“Creative space” is outperforming other property types, said Dan Fasulo, managing director of global property research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc., citing a Moody’s Investors Service index of prime buildings in six major cities with tech sectors. The measure gained almost 33 percent from its low two years ago, more than double the 15 percent advance for the broader commercial property index.

“They’ve seen their value skyrocket,” Fasulo said of the properties tracked in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. “A new generation of corporate leaders is looking at space-planning as a core part of business to increase productivity and keep people in the office. The old guard looked at it as an expense.”

More Global Expansion Ahead for Real Estate Investment Trusts

In a video interview at REITWorld 2011 in Dallas, Peter Slatin, financial columnist with Forbes and editorial director for Real Capital Analytics said that as REITs grow and expand their presence in the commercial real estate landscape, more will begin to build global portfolios.

Mr. Slatin discussed his outlook for the future of the REIT approach to real estate investment. He said he expects to see diversification in a variety of ways: “We’ll see continued expansion, but we’ll also see increased variation as some companies experiment with financial structures, development ideas and locations.”

Slatin also made the prediction that more institutional investors will gravitate to the REIT approach to property investment, increasing their allocations to commercial real estate securities over direct forms of commercial real estate investment.

Adding that transparency and liquidity are the enduring legacy of the REIT model, Slatin said “Without these two things, real estate would have remained—and some of it still does remain—a secretive, private, closed investment world.”

Kevin Imboden of RCA Appointed to ICSC North American Research Advisory Task Force

Kevin Imboden, a REIT and commercial property market analyst at global research firm Real Capital Analytics, is now a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC) North American Research Advisory Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of approximately 50 industry professionals who guide the research agenda for ICSC, the global trade association supporting the advancement of the shopping center industry.

Founded in the late 1980s, the North American Research Advisory Task Force serves as the “eyes and ears” of the ICSC’s research community in the U.S. and Canada. The team advises ICSC members on a range of research issues affecting the shopping center industry, such as real estate trends and current economic conditions, and helps shape the annual ICSC Research Conference for North America.

RCA’s global investment sales database is the first transparent database to track global capital flows in more than 80 countries and reveal each transaction researched by RCA with details such as sales price, sale date, buyer name, seller name, cap rate or yield, and building specifics for the office, retail, industrial, multifamily and hotel sectors.

RCA also recently published its Global Capital Trends report highlighting USD $568.8 billion in global commercial property sales activity for Q3 2011, well ahead of full-year 2008 and easily on track to beat 2010 volume as well. At its peak, commercial real estate sales reached $1.2 trillion globally in 2007.

As Senior Market Analyst for RCA, Mr. Imboden oversees global REIT transactions, as well as Europe and Oceania research. He played a pivotal role in organizing the ICSC Global Shopping Center Directory, a comprehensive global database of shopping centers greater than 30,000 SF or 2,800 SM. Powered by RCA’s commercial real estate database, the Directory organizes the shopping center universe with relevant information on more than 34,000 shopping centers.

Mr. Imboden previously worked in the financial industry before coming to RCA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

More Global Expansion Ahead for Real Estate Investment Trusts

In a video interview at REITWorld 2011 in Dallas, Peter Slatin, financial columnist with Forbes and editorial director for Real Capital Analytics said that as REITs grow and expand their presence in the commercial real estate landscape, more will begin to build global portfolios.

Mr. Slatin discussed his outlook for the future of the REIT approach to real estate investment. He said he expects to see diversification in a variety of ways: “We’ll see continued expansion, but we’ll also see increased variation as some companies experiment with financial structures, development ideas and locations.”

Slatin also made the prediction that more institutional investors will gravitate to the REIT approach to property investment, increasing their allocations to commercial real estate securities over direct forms of commercial real estate investment.

Adding that transparency and liquidity are the enduring legacy of the REIT model, Slatin said “Without these two things, real estate would have remained—and some of it still does remain—a secretive, private, closed investment world.”

Kevin Imboden of RCA Appointed to ICSC North American Research Advisory Task Force

Kevin Imboden, a REIT and commercial property market analyst at global research firm Real Capital Analytics, is now a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC) North American Research Advisory Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of approximately 50 industry professionals who guide the research agenda for ICSC, the global trade association supporting the advancement of the shopping center industry.

Founded in the late 1980s, the North American Research Advisory Task Force serves as the “eyes and ears” of the ICSC’s research community in the U.S. and Canada. The team advises ICSC members on a range of research issues affecting the shopping center industry, such as real estate trends and current economic conditions, and helps shape the annual ICSC Research Conference for North America.

RCA’s global investment sales database is the first transparent database to track global capital flows in more than 80 countries and reveal each transaction researched by RCA with details such as sales price, sale date, buyer name, seller name, cap rate or yield, and building specifics for the office, retail, industrial, multifamily and hotel sectors.

RCA also recently published its Global Capital Trends report highlighting USD $568.8 billion in global commercial property sales activity for Q3 2011, well ahead of full-year 2008 and easily on track to beat 2010 volume as well. At its peak, commercial real estate sales reached $1.2 trillion globally in 2007.

As Senior Market Analyst for RCA, Mr. Imboden oversees global REIT transactions, as well as Europe and Oceania research. He played a pivotal role in organizing the ICSC Global Shopping Center Directory, a comprehensive global database of shopping centers greater than 30,000 SF or 2,800 SM. Powered by RCA’s commercial real estate database, the Directory organizes the shopping center universe with relevant information on more than 34,000 shopping centers.

Mr. Imboden previously worked in the financial industry before coming to RCA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.