Sales of commercial property in the first half of 2012 started out noticeably slower than the first half of 2011. By the end of the 2nd Quarter, 2011 there had been a total of 37 commercial sales compared to only 24 commercial sales transactions through June, 2012, partially due to lack of inventory. Ultimately we saw more off-market transactions than traditional market transactions.
An interesting trend in the 2nd Quarter was that over 70% of the buyers were owner-users, a direct result of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) financing of low interest loans and high loan to value. With low fixed SBA interest rates, owner-users are finding that buying their own real estate and making loan payments is actually cheaper than leasing, and with just 10% down, it’s become feasible for many. As long as SBA financing remains a viable option for owner-users we believe this trend will continue.
While owner-users are leading the charge today, looking into the future we expect to see an increased number of investors joining the hunt as they too are motivated by historically low interest rates. And considering the 14 transactions Radius alone currently has in escrow, the market should be on pace to reach or exceed the 15-year historic average of 65 sales per year by the end of 2012 (excluding apartments).
Download a full copy of Radius Insight, 2012 South County Commercial Real Estate 2nd Quarter Report.
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