EisnerAmper’s Outlook for Commercial Real Estate Investment in 2024: Navigating the Challenges on the Path to Recovery

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Entering 2024, the real estate landscape faces challenges arising from the prolonged impact of higher interest rates and market complexities. Key considerations include:

Interest Rates: The industry grapples with the enduring impact of higher interest rates, challenging expectations of a return to pre-pandemic levels. While rates have fluctuated, relief may come as the Fed Funds rate drops in 2024.

Property Values: Elusive stabilization characterizes property valuations, with varied estimates and a lack of transactions. The market awaits willing sellers to establish benchmarks.

Equity Capital: Equity investors, holding over $200 billion, stand ready for market navigation. Private equity firms may act as short-term flippers, while patient sovereign wealth funds and family offices could emerge as winners.

Debt Capital: Alternative lenders took center stage in 2023, focusing on bridge lending. Traditional lenders face challenges, and debt funds may gain market share, charging premiums to owners in need.

Distressed Debt: Distress centers on debt in a real estate downturn, with increasing delinquencies, downgrades of AAA CMBS bonds, and challenges for banks.

Winners and Losers in 2024:

Winners:  Cash-rich investors with long horizons, data center owners, multifamily owners with liquidity, providers of bridge loans, and lawyers specializing in loan workouts.

Losers: Office owners, value-add sponsors facing challenges, borrowers with maturities lacking cash, banks unable to re-enter real estate lending, and brokers with limited opportunities.

While 2024 presents challenges, investors with liquidity and a long-term perspective can weather the storm. Clarity on interest rates, capitalization rates, and property values by year-end could prompt renewed capital inflows, leading to market recovery in 2025. The real estate industry's historical resilience positions it for compelling long-term returns.

Original article posted on January 11, 2024

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