Investors Don’t Fear Vacancies


vacant thumbs upAs bid-up pricing results in lower returns, especially in prime office markets, investors are turning to a new strategy, according to Transwestern’s Gary Nussbaum. That is, they’re becoming more opportunistic, buying buildings with substantial or total vacancies.

It’s not only the lower returns on stabilized assets that have motivated investors to accept more risk—and, often, pay higher prices on vacant, nearly vacant or soon to be vacant office properties, writes Nussbaum, Chicago-based managing director, investment services. They’re also finding more debt sources willing to lend on opportunistic deals.

“In order to increase their returns, some lenders have been willing to finance the acquisition of vacant buildings, offering interest-only, debt fund financing at 65% loan-to-value” as well as providing 100% of the cap-ex funding, Nussbaum writes in a special report. Interest rates, meanwhile, have been as aggressive as sub-6%. “Terms are improving because more debt sources are loaning on these non-core assets.”


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