The Commercial Real Estate Market on the South Coast had one of its largest sales quarters in over a decade with 25 sales of commercial properties, excluding apartments, in the first quarter. Compared to the 12 sales in the first quarter of last year and 6 sales in the first quarter of 2009, we are off to a fantastic start to 2011 and can expect annual sales to be substantially above the fifteen year average of 64 sales per year.
Though building and property prices have not gone up, they appear to have stabilized and many properties have had multiple offers. Buyers are currently taking advantage of lower prices and the fact that property values have dropped roughly 20% to 30% from their high of 3 to 4 years ago. Due to the help of SBA financing, providing owner/users with financing in the low 5% range with as little as 10% down, several buyers have been former tenants who are now able to buy empty buildings and have their mortgages at the same or less than their previous rents. As always, buildings listed at their current market value are selling quickly while overpriced properties are seeing limited action.
Many investors have jumped back into the market to buy properties for all cash or with large down payment. Investors are competing for prime location properties to capitalize on the opportunity to buy properties at price levels of 2002/2003. Of the 25 sales that took place in the first quarter this year, Radius was involved with an astonishing 17 commercial sales which accounts for 68% of the commercial properties sold.
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