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Lee & Associates Survey Finds Private Investors Cautious But Optimistic

Los Angeles-based brokerage firm Lee & Associates Investment Services Group has allowed us to share the results of a short investor sentiment survey it recently compiled. The respondents included high-net-worth individuals, partnerships and other groups specializing in commercial real estate deals valued in the range of $2 million to $20 million.

Overall, the survey finds investors beginning to become more active with deal activity slowly rising. But commercial real estate investors also remain cautious about the sector's outlook.

Based on responses to the survey, Lee & Associates' outlined several key themes.

  • Most think we are starting to see commercial real estate strengthen.
  • Sellers still need to be more realistic, however, the great news is that there are buyers who are ready, willing, anxious and have capital.
  • Lenders have to start making loans
  • Government involvement has been too slow to assist in lending and job creation
  • The commercial real estate market will become the robust economic generator we have seen in the past
  • As institutions are on the sidelines for the most part, now is the best time for private investors to buy

You can read the full report in as a Scribd document below. Among the responses to the questions, this one jumped out at me in particular. It indicates that investors think the recovery in commercial real estate is slowly unfolding.

5. How long until the commercial real estate market begins to strengthen?

At last there is some optimism in the commercial real estate market. Last quarter, 82 percent of the respondents did not think the market had started to strengthen yet. This past quarter, that number went down to 63 percent, a reduction of 30 percent. For the first time in two years, over one-half of the respondents believe the market will be strengthening in less than 18 months. About one-fourth were still pessimistic that we still have over 24 months before the market shows signs of getting stronger.

Newsletter_Second Quarter 2010

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