US office prices headed for ‘severe crash,’ investors say

Around two-thirds of those who responded to a Bloomberg News survey said they believe that the commercial real estate market will recover only after a crash.

When asked when they believe the price of office properties will hit bottom, 44% said they expect that to happen in the second half of next year while 22% said it will be in the first six months of 2024, according to Bloomberg News.

Just 6% of the 919 respondents said that prices would bottom out this year while 29% predicted that it would happen in 2025 or beyond.

The Fed has raised interest rates aggressively, which is increasing the cost of financing commercial properties at a time when there is also reduced need for them, which has hit rent levels.

Investors expect commercial real estate prices to crash, according to a recent survey.

Investors are bracing for a possible crisis triggered by default on $1.5 trillion in debt that is coming due by the end of 2025,.

Some $270 billion in commercial real estate loans held by banks are set to mature in 2023, according to Trepp.

Over the next four years, commercial real estate properties must pay off debt maturities that will peak at $550 billion in 2027, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Earlier this month, a study released by economists from NYU Stern Business School, Columbia Business School and the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that vacancy rates are at 30-year highs in many American cities.

In New York City, the vacancy rate was 22.2% in Q1 of 2023.

Office buildings in cities such as San Francisco are sitting empty in an era of remote work.

Office buildings in New York City — the world’s largest commercial real estate market — have lost $76 billion in value from their most recent sales prices, according to broker JLL.

Blackstone and RXR sold the office building at 1330 Avenue of the Americas for $320 million — a third less than the listing price in 2006.

Real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield recently predicted that there could be 1 billion square feet of unused office space in the US by 2030.

The New York Fed said earlier this year that it was unclear when or if the commercial real estate sector would return to its prior strength.

Investors are bracing for a possible crisis triggered by default on $1.5 trillion in debt that are coming due over the next three years.

“While the residential rental market has bounced back, the retail and office markets have remained slack – largely due to the shift to remote work and online shopping,” the bank said in a posting on its website.

Commercial rents in Manhattan are down a lot from where they were before the pandemic, and “this weakening trend may continue as more and more commercial tenants roll off leases that were negotiated when demand for office and retail space was far stronger.”

With Post wires

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