Grave dancers are slipping into Seattle and picking up office properties on the cheap by buying distressed debt, a dynamic that could spark a flurry of deals for downtown office buildings.
Targets of these opportunistic investor groups are borrowers who bought when the market was hot five years ago and who have now either defaulted or are struggling to repay loans on properties whose values have tumbled in the economic downturn.
In some cases, investor groups are also forced to buy debt instead of property when they are unable to find suitable real estate on the market.
“The people who are buying debt would be interested in buying the property outright, but that is not a viable option in some cases,” said Ben Thypin, director of market analysis at New York real estate research firm Real Capital Analytics.
Grave-dancer investment is hard to track, Thypin said. “The debt-buying market is very opaque,” he said.
Read More: http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/print-edition/2012/01/27/debt-drives-a-rash-of-office-deals.html?page=all
Schnitzer West LLC has put up for sale its luxury retail shopping center in downtown Bellevue.
The Shops at the Bravern opened in the fall of 2009, in the dark aftermath of the financial crisis, with the only Neiman Marcus department store in the Northwest as the anchor tenant. The Bravern’s other retailers include luxury goods sellers such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Jimmy Choo.
Vacant spaces are less of an issue with a newer property, according to Ben Thypin, director of market analysis at New York research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. Investors are also more interested in secondary markets, such as Bellevue and Seattle, because prices have increased sharply in primary markets, such as New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Thypin said.
He noted the April sale of the nearby Bellevue Galleria mixed-use project, which was fully leased at the time. Thor Equities LLC bought the 12-year-old property for $87.5 million, or $429 a square foot. Thor Equities specializes in well-located but underperforming properties.
Even though the Shops at the Bravern are newer than the retail shops at the Bellevue Galleria, Thypin anticipates they could sell for less per square foot because the new owner would bear the cost of building out the 14 vacant spaces for the new tenants. If that is correct, the price tag for the Shops at the Bravern would fall below the range of $133 million.
Read More: http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/print-edition/2011/11/04/buyers-circling-luxury-retail-center.html?page=all
We're seeing a lot of these 'strategic defaults,' " said Ben Thypin, senior market analyst with Real Capital Analytics, a commercial real-estate research firm in New York. "Beacon could probably pay the mortgage, but the properties are worth less now, and they don't want to make payments based on outdated values."
Read More: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2011668875_beacon22.html
Ben Carlos Thypin
I am currently the co-founder of Quantierra, the world's first data driven real estate brokerage and investment manager. In my former life as Director of Market Analysis at Real Capital Analytics, I worked with press outlets large and small to provide them with great data and insightful commentary. Here are some of the results of this collaboration. For the rest, please check out the News Archive.