The world’s biggest real estate investors are sitting on piles of cash, preparing for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities created by the pandemic.
With economies around the world sputtering, commercial real estate prices are expected to come down. How much they’ll fall is the key question. Sellers are currently willing to concede discounts of around 5%, while bidders are hoping for about 20% off pre-pandemic prices, said Charles Hewlett, managing director at Rclco Real Estate Advisors. That estimated gap, which is likely wider in specific cases, has put a freeze on deals.
“The mantra for anything that hasn’t gotten started is: delay, defer and, in many cases, renegotiate,” Hewlett said. “If I’m going to have vintage May 2020 on my books, I want to be able to demonstrate to my investors that I got an exceptionally good deal.”
The volume of deals in Europe plunged 65% in April from a year earlier, according to Leahy. U.S. and Asian markets faced similar drops.