The CRE market continues to see brighter days. The volume of overall commercial real estate investment rose 14% last year as compared to 2012, but activity in the office building sector increased even more – by 17% — to more than $104 billion, according to the CoStar Group. Although this didn’t reach 2007’s peak office investment levels, it still demonstrates the return of strong investor interest in office property. Read more

Today, a good location, well-maintained units, attractive common areas and the right amenities are no longer enough to keep occupancy rates high and the property value of an apartment building up. Instead, success in commercial real estate investing can often hinge on smart property management, which can ensure that a seemingly profitable investment doesn’t instead turn into a negative cash-flow mistake. Read more

Lead paint remediation in Massachusetts.  Soil contamination in Connecticut.  Asbestos in New York.   Environmental issues are a common occurrence throughout our pipeline of multifamily and mixed-use transactions.  Among all of the factors that investment real estate buyers and sellers need to be aware of, environmental concerns have become increasingly important since the 1980s after judicial decisions related to the liability of property owners to effect property site cleanup.  Environmental issues with land or buildings can greatly reduce their value, make them difficult to finance and, if a contaminated property is purchased, the buyer may be responsible for the cost of clean-up even if the buyer did not cause or contribute to the problem. Read more

While improving fundamentals continue to drive a strong recovery in Connecticut’s multifamily sector, most asset classes have not fully recovered from the recent recession in terms of rents and occupancy.  Investors in retail, office and industrial properties continue to look for job growth as a leading indicator to a rebound in asset values. Read more

With investor sentiment in commercial real estate on the rebound, the National Real Estate Investor Sentiment Index rose to another high in the first quarter of 2013 — up 3 points to 174.  This is an especially strong vote of confidence because the survey was conducted in late December and early January when we were all focused on the potential impact of the fiscal cliff on the U.S. economy. Read more