Where to Buy Now

Unless your client has a healthy cash reserve, buying commercial property this year may be a challenge.

April 1, 2009

But if you do have a client with some capital, here’s where some experts suggest you shop.

Seattle: The office market is flat, but apartments and industrial property are hot in this land of software giants.

San Francisco: Office space will hold up in this well diversified economy.

Washington, D.C.: Government is the one steady industry today, so office and apartments will perform well, and even retail may have some hope.

New York: As the office sector takes a hit from Wall Street’s fall, hotels will still be filled with foreign tourists ready to take up much of the retail slack.

Los Angeles: Hotels attract Pacific Rim visitors. Apartments are a good bet, too, if you can hold for five years or more. Warehousing may be down but is still big business.

Houston & Dallas: As long as oil prices stay strong (oil was hovering near $44 a barrel at this writing), office, retail, and industrial warehouse demand should be stable.

Pittsburgh: This dark horse continues to lose population but has rebuilt its economy and had the fourth best absorption of office space nationally in 2008, thanks to growth in education, health, and biotech.

Sources: Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009 (Urban Land Institute and Price WaterhouseCoopers); 2009 Real Estate Forecast (Grubb & Ellis Co.)