Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Commercial Real Estate Price Indexes

by Bill McBride on 11/03/2009 02:14:00 PM

The different price indexes can be confusing ...

From MIT: MIT commercial property price index posts first increase in over a year

The 4.4 percent increase in the transactions-based index (TBI) for the third quarter is the first positive price change in the index in over a year, and the largest increase since before the market downturn began in mid-2007. While the price index is now 36.5 percent below its 2007 peak, it is not as low as the 39 percent deficit seen last quarter — suggesting that the U.S. commercial property market may have finally found a price bottom.
But this isn't the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) that is reported every month. The CPPI showed commercial real estate prices fell 3 percent in August, and are down almost 41 percent since the peak in October 2007.

The transactions-based index (TBI) is a quarterly index for commercial properties sold by major institutional investors. According to MIT professor David Geltner, the TBI probably includes fewer distressed properties:
The types of properties and owners tracked by the TBI would generally be less subject to distress than those tracked by the CPPI.
A couple of points:
  • Typically prices fall much faster for commercial real estate than for residential real estate (prices for residential RE tend to be sticky and decline for several years, however CRE owners have far less emotional attachment to their properties).
  • It is very possible that CRE prices are near the bottom for non-distressed properties. It depends on if buyers are adequately discounting future increases in the vacancy rate and lower rents. It is a different story for distressed properties.

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