Research

Commercial real estate investment trends & outlook

Secular shifts and defensive portfolio strategies in focus

Following a year which exceeded expectations in terms of capital deployment, the first quarter of 2019 was off to a slower start as expected. Yet following more tepid investor sentiment early in 2019, the past several months have seen new green shoots of optimism in response to rebounding equity markets, exceedingly stable jobs figures, and a stronger than expected reading of first-quarter U.S. GDP. In addition, the more dovish stance of the Federal Reserve has bolstered investor sentiment. This — coupled with ongoing strength in real estate occupier fundamentals — is evidencing what remains a supportive market for real estate.

The following themes are expected to shape investor behavior in the months ahead: 

Key themes

Transactions

In continuation of the trend that emerged in 2018, investors are evidencing a preference for liquid and secure markets, and high-quality assets. 

Global capital

While cross-border capital flows are down overall, the past two quarters have seen a notable increase in the share of portfolios of scale acquired by foreign groups. 

Debt

Fundraising in the first quarter in the U.S. marked a further rise, and dry powder from closed-end funds has jumped to a new high.  

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