U.S. commercial real estate prices may fall as much as 5 percent in the next 12 months amid tightened regulations, a wall of debt maturities and property sales by publicly traded landlords, Pacific Investment Management Co. said in a report Monday.
A global surge in demand for U.S. property investments that pushed real estate values to records may wane as slowing growth in China, lower oil prices and dislocated debt markets threaten to halt six years of price growth, PIMCO portfolio managers John Murray and Anthony Clarke said in their report, titled “U.S. Real Estate: A Storm Is Brewing.”
“Storms form when moisture, unstable air and updrafts interact,” they said. A similar confluence of factors “is creating a blast of volatility for U.S. commercial real estate.”
PIMCO said there may be opportunities in a real estate shakeout, allowing some buyers to snap up properties at bargain prices. Additionally, a wave of maturing debt from the last decade’s boom starts coming due this year, opening a window for investors to fund borrowers who come up short, according to the report.
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“For flexible capital, this storm might be a welcome one indeed,” Murray and Clarke wrote.
Signs of a cooling real estate market have emerged across the country since the start of the year. Commercial-property values in big U.S. cities, which have seen the largest increases during the recent boom, have declined 3 percent in the past three months, Moody’s Investors Service and Real Capital Analytics Inc. said in a June 6 report. Real estate transactions in New York, the biggest U.S. property market, are forecast to decline by as much as 30 percent this year, brokerage Cushman & Wakefield said in April.