A Statement On Ukraine from Kevin Maggiacomo, SVN President and CEO

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SVN® Brand Ranked Nationally as 8th Top Brokerage Firm

Boston, Mass. — June 26, 2017 — SVN International Corp. (SVNIC), a full-service commercial real estate franchisor of the SVN® brand, announced today it has been ranked as the 8th Top Brokerage Firm in the UnitedCPR_Top_Brokerage_2017-01 States by Commercial Property Executive. SVN earned the number 8 ranking, climbing up four spots from 2016’s survey, based on investment sales and lease volume for the previous year.

Each year Commercial Property Executive, a leading resource for the commercial real estate industry, ranks the top brokerage firms by utilizing a weighted formula based on a variety of factors, including form performance in 2016 and over time, using factors like investment sales and leasing activity. Firms represented in the CPE Index are considered leaders in the commercial real estate industry.

kevin“This is an important indicator of the continued growth of SVN – in cold hard results,” says SVNIC President and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo. “This top 10 ranking solidifies the strength of the SVN brand, the reliability of our many online CRE tools and the talent of our hardworking Advisors.”

 

 

 

SVN is the only major commercial real estate brand that proactively markets all of its qualified properties to the entire brokerage and investment community. Participating in approximately $10.6 billion in sales and leasing transactions in 2016, SVN Advisors shared commission fees with co-operating brokers in order to close more deals in less time and at the right value for clients. Advisors also reap the benefits of our SVN Live® Weekly Property Broadcast, cloud-based leading-edge technology, and national product councils. This open, transparent and collaborative approach to real estate is the SVN Difference.

To learn more about SVN’s Core Services and Specialty Practice areas, visit svn.com/svn-specialty-practices.

 

 

Located outside of the US? Click here to find out how you can bring the SVN® brand to your country.

Click here to read the official press release.

Labor Shortage Not Likely to Effect Commercial Real Estate Values

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate has fallen to 4.3% as of May 2017. Most Quarryeconomists would describe this state of unemployment as near “full employment” as historical data analyses show that the country rarely dips below 4% and never for that long. Yet, this near historically low unemployment has occurred less from overly robust hiring, but instead from a lack of qualified workers able to fill open positions. In fact, the BLS reported in May a modest +138,000 jobs added to the economy, a good but not great number. Perhaps more importantly, the jobs report showed no single sector reporting significant losses, which indicates that all are hiring or holding steady. In addition, the only sector to have shown persistent losses over the last year, Mining (which includes energy production and exploration), has even reversed itself and is posting significant gains over the last few months. Therefore, the jobs report truly only supports the conclusion of an ever growing, albeit slowly, economy.

 

ECONOMIC GROWTH HELD BACK BY LOW LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE

The challenge lies in the measured economic growth rate which was reported as 1.2% first quarter revised annualized GDP growth by the BEA. Normally, such low unemployment would be accompanied by much higher GDP growth, as in the +3% range, but the U.S. economy has struggled to get above 2% over the past several years. The answer to this problem may be that the low unemployment rate is a result of a low supply of qualified workers and not an excessive amount of job creation. The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of those theoretically able to work and/or desiring to work, remains low at 62.7%. This measure peaked above 67% in the early 2000’s, and has fallen in-part due to the retiring baby boomers. But following the Great Recession it fell rapidly down, approximately 66%, to this 62-63% range where it still hovers today. Why people are not desiring to or actually working as they did ten years ago is the subject of study and speculation beyond today’s scope. What is becoming clearer with each monthly jobs report, is that it is holding back broader economic growth.

 

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE IS HOLDING ITS VALUE

The impact this will have on commercial real estate investments in 2017 and beyond is difficult to predict, but some insights are clear. First, some economists are forecasting a mild recession 12 to 24 months from now, based largely on historic Colorful Shops and Restaurants in Downtown Austin Texas USAmacroeconomic cyclical activity. In the past, such low levels of unemployment were often followed by a mild recession within the same timeframe. However, recessions are typically triggered by excessive speculation, risk-taking, and usually hyper aggressive lending that pushes the economy too far. The data does not show any such excesses, especially in the use of leverage or aggressiveness of lenders. So, such predictions may not come true. Second, the labor shortage is being felt very strongly in the construction services and materials sectors. This means the cost to build new properties is rising faster than market rents and prices can justify. The net result is commercial real estate will probably hold its value just fine, and in fact, appreciate in areas where there is short supply. In conclusion, according to the data, we are probably closer to the middle of the cycle than the end.

 

 

Why The Return of Uncertainty Could Be Good for Commercial Real Estate

As the new administration crosses its 100-day mark, there is great uncertainty about what types of policies, ranging from health care, immigration, tax, and regulatory reform, exist. In fact, the celebrated “Trump Trade” has more or less stalled as of today, but the gains remain locked in place for the most part. The business and investment world has collectively reached a “now what” posture. Overall, recent measures of consumer and CEO confidence continue to rise as consumer confidence rose to 125.6 in March, up from the prior reading of 116.1, and CEO confidence rose from its prior reading of 65 to 68. The bulk of the country remains steady with the rise of optimism detected post November 2016, despite the uproar presented by the nightly evening news

Unemployment Rate Near Historic Low

Recent economic data has added additional uncertainty into the discussion. The most recent monthly report shows that only 98,000 jobs were added, a decrease from the previously reported numbers which were well above 200 thousand each month. However, the headline unemployment rate also fell to a near historic low of 4.5%, indicating an overall tight labor market. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, also had its first negative reading of -0.3% in March after many successive reports of greater than 2% annualized inflation. The net result is less certainty that the Federal Reserve will raise rates in the near term or that aggressively over the next year. With long-term bond rates already down 20 to 30 basis points from recent highs, the potential for an “overheating” economy where inflation runs wild seems less likely as of today than it did three months ago.

3 Reasons Why Uncertainty Could Be Good News for CREmodern new apartment building on blue sky background

There are three main reasons why this level of political and economic uncertainty can be very good news for the commercial real estate sector.

  1. The market believes the uncertainty has a positive tilt. It’s more likely that we will unexpectedly receive good news rather than bad news (such as a surprise passage of a tax reform package that’s good for business).
  2. There appears to be a lower probability of rapid interest rate increases, and consequently cap rate increases. This should boost the confidence for real estate investors looking to make acquisitions today.
  3. The underlying fundamental demand for commercial real estate space, including apartments, continue to grow. Yardi reported the first increase in five months in average national multifamily rents with a gain of $6 per month to a rate of $1,312. As always, the likelihood of having a perfect world for commercial real estate is low given that interest rates are staying steady while rents and occupancies continue to rise. Right now this appears to be the condition for at least the near term.

Even though the future can be uncertain, real estate is set to outperform stocks and bonds in 2017. In the last month, REITs provided a total return of 6.03% while the S&P 500 index only returned 0.12%. In addition, REITs set a multi-year record for amount of capital raised in the first quarter of ’17. Historically, REIT performance serves as leading indicator of future returns to private real estate.

 

 

Confidence and Optimism in Today's Commercial Real Estate Industry

According to the most recent published reports by the Conference Board, CEO Confidence spiked a highly significant 15 points as of January and the Consumer Confidence Index sits at 114.8 as of February, making each measure sit at 6 year and 15 year highs respectively. Confidence at these levels, especially when true for both consumer and business segments, leads to increased levels of investment and spending, both critical for demand of real estate. To appreciate why confidence is so high, it is important to look at the underlying fundamentals of the macroeconomy in early 2017.

CONSUMERS CONTINUE TO DO WELL IN 2017

Job growth remains robust with multiple months of 200,000+ net new jobs, specifically 235,000 in February per the BLS, and a steady, low unemployment rate, presently 4.7%. This has led to continued wage growth and personal income growth, 0.4% in January alone. In addition, record high stock prices and growing home prices all add up to a (financially) happy household. Spending is up too with retail sales at a record high in the latest monthly reading and a 5.56% year over year growth rate as of January according to the Census Bureau. This has increased growth in manufactured goods order in the US, up 1.2% in January and up six out of the last seven months. In summary, the growing wave of positive news that began in the third quarter of 2016, appears to only have accelerated into the first quarter of 2017. Whether it’s due to raw macroeconomic fundamentals, or optimism following the election, the fact is, consumers are doing very well today.

The business sector still appears to be under investing, with only 0.04% growth in fixed investment in the 4Q2016 and there is a lot ground left to cover to get to full growth in the economy. If businesses invest more vigorously, as CEO confidence and stock market levels suggest could happen, GDP growth should easily exceed 2% and may even approach 3%. Despite all the recovery and improvement, the US economy only managed 1.6% growth in 2016. Regulatory rollback and reform is the one area of the new administration’s agenda most likely to advance in 2017, although not without controversy. These are the aspects President Trump can influence without needing Congressional approval, in many instances, and is more likely the most tangible, real, and immediate area that is causing the rise in business sector optimism. Even if there are small changes, the threat of sudden negative changes or complex new regulations is substantially reduced, such as the sudden change to the Department of Labor’s overtime compensation rules in 2016.

SMALLER DEALS AND OUTPERFORMING SECONDARY MARKETS TRENDS SET TO CONTINUE

A wide range of commercial real estate organizations have also begun intense lobbying on regulatory reforms due to the relaxed lending restrictions stemming from Dodd-Frank to energy use reporting provisions enacted by HUD in FHA multifamily lending. If these efforts are even somewhat successful, commercial property investors will have good reason to be optimistic. So far, commercial real estate has not yet felt the full impact of the Trump administration, rising stock prices and, even to some degree, long term interest rates. All evidence suggests that the commercial real estate industry is equally, if not more, optimistic than the general business community. CoStar, who issues monthly pricing indices for commercial real estate, reported that its value weighted index fell 0.9% in January, up 5.5% year over year, while its equally weighted index rose 1.4% that same month, up 7.5% year over year. The difference is due to the equally weighted index being more representative of secondary/tertiary markets and deals of smaller size. This trend of smaller deals and secondary markets outperforming core assets and primary markets looks highly likely to continue for 2017, especially if the confidence and optimism holds.