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CRE Investors Expect Good Returns This Year

March 06, 2023

Going into 2023 has been for CRE a bit like jumping into a mountain lake and feeling that surge of cold racing through your body. The uncertainty about valuations, the economy, and interest and cap rates. It’s understandable that transactions have been down, with both private and institutional money seeing reductions.

However, for uncertain times with identifiable headwinds, there is a significant amount of optimism among investors, according to a Marcus & Millichap special report.

“Entering 2023, investors were surveyed about their investment outlook and plans for the coming year. Given the many headwinds the market still faces, the stated plans of investors may be surprising. While there’s a perception that investors have hit the pause button en masse, 59 percent of investors indicated that they plan to remain active in the first half of this year. Purchasing commercial real estate was the most popular investor plan, with 34 percent of the respondents saying they plan to buy commercial real estate in the first half of 2023. Another 17 percent indicated they plan to both buy and sell commercial real estate, while 8 percent indicated they plan to sell assets only. Of the active investors, nearly three quarters — 73 percent — indicated that they plan to grow their portfolios in 2023. Of the remaining investors, 13 percent plan to decrease their portfolio and 14% plan to keep their portfolio size stable, with offsetting purchases and sales.”

What they smell is opportunity. Demand is down. Combined with higher interest rates, that should increase the amount of available distressed inventory. That’s why 59% of all polled said that they planned to be active, whether buying or selling, in the first half of 2023. Broken out in more detail, 34% expected to buy, 17% to buy and sell, 8% sell only, and 41% to do neither.

Of course, some portion of those not planning to be active in the first half of the year might be in the second.

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