부동산 불황으로 부동산 직접 투자가 빛을 잃어가는 요즘 대안으로 떠오르는 것이 ‘리츠’이다. 리츠는 주식을 발행해 다수 투자자로부터 자금을 모아 부동산이나 부동산 관련 대출, 유가증권 등에 투자하는 것을 말한다. 작년 우리나라 리츠 시장은 50개가 넘는 숫자에 자산규모가 8조원에 육박하는 성장세를 보였다. 또한 그 동안은 기관투자자 중심의 위탁형이나 기업구조조정리츠(CR리츠:기업의 구조조정용 부동산을 매입해 수익을 내는 리츠)가 주류였지만 작년부터는 개발전문 자기관리 리츠의 증가세가 두드러진다. 일반투자자를 대상으로 자금을 모아 부동산 개발사업 등에 투자하고 사업을 직접 관리하는 자기관리리츠는 작년 그 수가 부쩍 늘었는데 부동산 경기 침체가 장기화하면서 개발업체 등이 사업자금 마련을 위해 리츠를 설립하기 때문인 것으로 보여진다. 현재’골든나래개발리츠’와 ‘다산리츠’가 상장되어 주상복합 개발 및 임대 사업을 진행하고 있는 바 앞으로 개인에게 새로운 부동산 투자 방향을 제시하고 댜양한 상품을 제공할 수 있을 지 주목된다.
If 2010 was a year marked by uncertainty, then 2011 should shed some much needed light on the future of CRE market. Despite the hurdles of the financial crisis and its impact on commercial real estate, recent data suggests that investors are looking to expand next year as the economy enters into a slow recovery.
Low interest rates, (spurred in large part by the fed’s new phase of quantitative easing), along with the resurgence of several asset classes such multifamily, indicate that investors may be willing to take on slightly more risk next year. Compromises on tax cuts and the historically wide spread between cap rates and interest rates should also aid investment and reduce uncertainty, creating opportunities for broker-dealers.
How will different CRE classes perform next year? To some extent, we have already begun to see a return to normalcy in some sectors such as industrial and multifamily. These markets have already begun to reset themselves and are poised for continued growth in 2011. Debt is coming back, and where the debt goes, the equity will follow.
Projected sales volumes for 2010 have also shown a promising improvement of ’09. This is not a shock considering how poorly the market performed in ’09, but it is still good news. CRE sales volumes are projected to increase over 50% or about $168 billion by the end of year, as investors who sat on the bench in 2009 returned to the market.
Not all sectors are benefitting equally from the return of debt. While financing is available for top-tier properties, it has been reserved mostly stable property types grounded by experienced owner/operators. Investors this year are still risk averse, with the majority of investment activity focused on stable investments in top tier, primary markets. Institutions and REITS have returned, but they remain cautious.
In 2011, assets located in primary markets will continue to experience the biggest boost from capital flows, while mid- and lower-tier assets in secondary and tertiary markets will need exceptionally strong owner/operators with a strong track record of success to gain financing. The recovery of these markets is tethered to job creation, so they will require the economy to improve before these assets can fully recover.
At the end of the day, there will always be appetite for commercial properties that provide investors with good value. Assets that bring cash flows, such as office, healthcare and multifamily, have already seen increased demand in both primary and secondary markets. With new supply limited, there is a real opportunity for buyers to invest in the CRE at the equity and mezzanine levels while the gap between interest rates and cap rates remains historically wide. Debt capital is readily available for projects that can prove long term value with experienced owner/operators that have a track record of success.
Overall, the future is looking up for the CRE market next year, as more investors take advantage of market conditions and an improving economy. While risk appetites remain low, early movers looking to broaden their investment strategy will begin to look outside of the top tier markets. These players will be the first to capitalize on the next round of price corrections and reap larger rewards in the years ahead. Brokers with strong lending relationships and experienced development partners will be poised to take advantage and emerge as winners in the next phase of recovery.
Matthew McManus is Chairman of Philadelphia-based NAI Bluestone Real Estate Capital, LLC.
Most can see the continuing disconnect between the conditions on Wall Street and Main Street combined with slow to recover residential values and transaction volumes across much of the U.S. market. Meanwhile, across most of the major markets in Asia, we are witnessing quite a different scenario with continued strong and rising markets and values in residential and more recently in commercial values.
Witness in Hong Kong, despite a slew of strong anti-speculation measures intended to cool the hot residential market, luxury residential continues to over-perform. A slew of recent measures in Hong Kong, including steep stamp duties for short-term trading and lower debt allowances have only slowed the pace of sales, but not dented the record-level rising values. At the same time, the office market is strong and retail continues as the strongest performer of all. Investment yields range between 2.5-3.5%.
In Japan, the strong yen and weak economy have weakened the foreign buying interest, although some major Asia-based funds and mainland Chinese investors continue to seek high quality assets in Tokyo. Compressed yields require the yield-driven investors to seek opportunities outside the main wards of Tokyo. A growing number of Japanese investors are seeking investments overseas, both in property and businesses, as the government is encouraging M&A activity.
Taiwan may begin to receive large-scale investment in their property sector from none other than their mainland Chinese neighbors. Investment yields at 3% and under have deterred most foreign investors, but provided there are no major policy changes, upward of US$70 billion is expected to be invested by mainland investors in the coming years.
In India, we have moved into another rapidly rising market where values have risen faster than expected. Property values are beginning to stretch past the occupiers risk tolerance levels. Domestic funds are competing heavily for leased investments in the 11-12% range and foreign funds are finding it difficult. FDI activity in the property sector has been very light, but some policy change may stimulate this sector.
In the Singapore vs. Hong Kong arena, Hong Kong residential is viewed generally as more heated. However, increased residential capital values over the last 15-18 months are holding despite strong anti-speculation measures and slower sales volumes. The new project launches with the best locations and best value pricing are still drawing crowds and selling briskly. Higher price per SF product is absorbing much slower than 6-9 months back. Commercial value expectations have risen by 30% in the last six months as closed transactions established the adjusted benchmark value of S$1600-S$1800 per SF, but most owners will only consider selling from S$2000 – S$2500 per SF. This increase in price expectation has caused the market to slow in the last quarter.
Meanwhile, investors in Asia warily watch the markets in the U.S. and Europe, but the low borrowing costs and high liquidity force them to continue betting down on property here.
-Steve Atherton, MCR
Based in Singapore, Steve Atherton is Managing Director-Asia Pacific Region for NAI Global.