More From The 2018 Philadelphia Forecast
Commercial real estate professionals were as optimistic as ever about 2018, but concerns still made their way into discussions at Bisnow's 2018 Philadelphia Forecast event.
Equus Capital Partners Vice President and Director of Investments Kyle Turner said the Philadelphia market has been flooded with new sources of capital and debt, partially as a result of the investment community resuming business as usual after holding its breath over President Donald Trump.
“As the administration changed, everyone took a step back and wondered what would happen, but by the third quarter, that changed because fundamentals across the country are so strong," Turner said. "And that increased confidence in our market.”
Steinbridge Group CEO Tawan Davis was among those investors who pressed pause early in 2017, but when he got going, he entered the Philadelphia single-family rental market at a scale the city has never seen.
“We came to Philadelphia in part because we saw residential investing as somewhat acyclical for the foreseeable future, especially in the urban areas,” Davis said.
Davis is in the right game, according to JLL Research Director Lauren Gilchrist. The single-family market in Philadelphia is short on supply and high on demand, and millennials still are not likely to have the money for down payments to buy.
RAIT Financial Trust Senior Managing Director Gregory Marks was "the most cynical lender" at the event by his own admission, but fellow panelists echoed his lament that the explosion of debt capital sources has changed the nature of dealmaking in the area.
“A year ago, spreads on suburban office and downtown office were 125 basis points wider at least, if you could even get a quote," Marks said. "So the increased competition also affects the back-end lending, but we can still get our yields by giving the spread to the end user.”
Ethosource Philadelphia Market Manager Bob Harrison discussed his company's furniture — which provided the seating for panelists at the event — and its ability to be specifically catered to clients' needs.