The commercial property market is returning to a more profitable state for investors, thanks to the rise of investment products like REITs which allow for a more diverse exposure to the commercial real estate market.
According to reports in Bloomberg, real estate prices across domestic and commercial properties are recovering, as banks and building societies report more lending activity for real estate investments. The news will be welcomed by those with property investments, and those with capital already tied up in commercial premises.
Commercial property was one of the first areas of real estate to be affected by the crash, and lawyers, bankers, surveyors and agents all went bust as a direct consequence of this depression of the commercial property market. With banks unable and unwilling to lend money to even perfectly viable businesses, expansion into new premises became the exception rather than the rule. Those that were exposed to commercial property lost heavily as values fell and demand in the marketplace collapsed.
Fast-forward to today and commercial property is very much on the rebound, with business levels picking up, back towards pre-crash levels and with new developments from firms like DMB. Buyers are returning, and sellers are again able to realize a fair value for their real estate, both in rental and buying markets. The market is still on the road to recovery more generally, but conditions appear to be stabilizing to the benefit of those invested in these markets and for the benefit of future generations hoping to make it onto the housing ladder.
With uncertainty ruling over commercial property markets over the last five years, it is perhaps unsurprising that investors have turned to alternative means of exposure to property investments. Rather than buying homes, shops and offices, a growing body of investors are seeing value in investing in ancillary products like Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in commercial property.
These types of funds allow individual investors to spread risk across a more diverse bundle of individual real estate investments. Rather than owning one or two properties personally, investing the same money in REITs or ETFs brings the benefit of professional investment and real estate management, along with the investment diversity that makes returns that bit more secure.
Those that choose to invest in real estate through a fund can do so either on exchange or privately, depending on the fund they think best meets their investment objectives. However, in some cases returns are suppressed by the cost of management fees and the general weighting of less effective investments.
There are arguments both ways for investors who are interested in taking exposure to the real estate market. However, the main thing for individuals and companies engaged in real estate dealings is that investments are becoming more profitable as the market regains lost strength.
While the commercial real estate and domestic property markets remain far from buoyant, analysts are hoping that growing opportunity for investors could spell the start of a reversal of fortunes that can contribute extensively to the wider global economic recovery.