Commercial real estate pros still glum
Most real estate professionals remain gloomy about the prospects of the commercial property market turning around this year and predict further price declines, according to a recent poll.
There have been few large property sales since the credit market froze last summer. Only a third of the 1,500 respondents to a survey taken by online property listing service LoopNet, however, said they expect sales activity to recover in 2009.
Most of the survey's respondents, 42%, are not expecting the market to pick up until 2010. A large number of the respondents, 26%, are even more pessimistic. Those commercial real estate investors, brokers and owners don't expect to see a recovery until 2011.
Prices have to come down 10% or more from current levels to restart the market, according to two-thirds of the respondents. Many think the market will come down farther than that. About 37% of the professionals predicted prices will go down as much as 20% while 30% said values will go down more n 30%
As a group, owners are more optimistic, both in terms of the timing of the recovery and the expected level of price declines, than are investors and brokers, LoopNet said.
-- Roger Vincent