Will the commercial real estate market always go up? Of course not.
But investors have been spoiled by two decades of double-digit returns that were too good to last. In 2016, returns on institutional-grade property fell below a 20-year 10.1% average for only the first time since the Great Recession, and the latest Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Economic Forecast puts estimated 2018 and 2019 returns around 6%.
Commercial real estate is cyclical, so it’s logical to expect a downturn at some point. But conventional wisdom holds that it won’t come soon. Colliers International’s 2018 Outlook on U.S. property markets says 2017 was the market’s peak, but the commercial real estate industry is expected to show continued growth, albeit at a more moderate pace, making a real estate market crash less likely.
Although the commercial real estate market’s outlook is still respectable, should investors be deterred by a potential decrease in returns from investment properties in the coming years? As the founder of a real estate investment firm, my informed answer is no. In fact, I believe investors should own private commercial real estate in every market cycle for the following reasons.