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Institutional Real Estate Americas

November 2011: Vol. 23 No. 10

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  • Filling the Void: Debt Funds Seek to Take Advantage of Limited Liquidity and Sizable Funding Gap

    Debt real estate funds were once viewed as a niche sector of the private closed-end real estate industry. No more.

    Investors have flocked to debt investment strategies in search of attractive risk-adjusted returns in an uncertain, often volatile, post-crash commercial real estate market. Debt-focused funds have attracted lower absolute dollars than they did during the boom, but their percentage of the entire real estate fund universe has surged. Real estate debt fund managers across the risk spectrum argue they are finding solid opportunities and their funds are attracting capital at a healthy clip.

  • All Aboard: Sustainability Has Become a Competitive Requirement

    Sustainability is changing real estate investment. Ignoring or underinvesting in sustainability today can drive away tenants, investors, employees and customers; increase operating costs; and expose properties to regulatory risk, resulting in potential business-altering risk of functional and economic obsolescence.

  • Current Issues: Investors Found a Lot to Talk About at Our Recent Editorial Board Meeting

    Under the current uncertain economic conditions, institutional investors face innumerable challenges in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities, having to invest billions of dollars on behalf of pension plan members. While that’s no easy task, it does help to share concerns, opinions and insights with your peers in the industry in order to make the most informed decisions.

  • Finding Your Niche: More Investors Consider Noncore Property Types

    Yields on core properties in top-tier markets aren’t as attractive as they were earlier in the cycle due to intense competition, so some institutional investors are looking at other income-generating, high-yield vehicles. And while it may not be a stampede yet, more investors are devoting their attention and capital to alternative real estate assets, such as student housing, seniors housing, healthcare properties, medical office properties and self-storage facilities.

  • Fright Fest II: We've Been Here Before, and We Didn't Think We'd Be Here Again

    Daily reports of downgrades and rumors of defaults in Europe all bring to mind the frightening fall of the global financial system that began three years ago with the collapse of Lehman Bros. on Sept. 15, 2008. It feels like a “slasher” movie sequel — with an intensely scary set-up, an early victim or two, all ending in a bloody mess. This is a film we have seen before and don’t want to see again.

    The stock and bond market edginess of the past few months is linked to four interconnected macroeconomic threats. 

  • Patience Pays Off: Investing in Timberland and Agriculture Generates Positive Returns ... If You Can Wait a While

    If you’re looking for long-term stability and diversification in your portfolio, you might want to look down at the ground … or up at the trees. Agriculture and timberland investing have produced solid returns for many an investor over the years, and it doesn’t look like the trend is going to stop any time soon. In addition, agriculture and timber investments have low to little correlation with other asset classes, helping to diversify an investment portfolio, and they also can provide a hedge against inflation. But buyers beware: with these property types, patience is a required virtue and investors typically need to wait a few years to capture their desired return.