The Top Growth Markets in Commercial

Where are the best opportunities in commercial real estate today?

April 1, 2010

"Student housing is very strong in my market. Pricing and rents have seen no drop, and entry into the market is still substantial." −Duke Long, Realty Executives Duke Long, West Lafayette, Ind.

"Property management is hot for all commercial sectors because of the waves of relocation and jobs hitting Washington, D.C. It’s also an amazing time for investors with cash to scoop up multifamily properties." −Anne Logsdon, Logsdon Commercial Group, RE/MAX Distinctive Real Estate Inc., McLean, Va.

"Income-producing retail with at least one anchor is an attractive investment. Properties can often be purchased for less than replacement cost, which lets you lease out space at below-market rates." −Herb Lubansky, Herb Lubansky Realty, South Dayton Beach, Fla.

"Apartments are hot because homeownership will continue to decline for the rest of the decade. Multifamily vacancies are dropping like mad." −Scott Miller, Century 21 Curry Agency, Commercial Division, Aberdeen, Md.

"Short sales and REO properties are the niche to work now. Just like residential property two or three years ago, commercial real estate is seeing bank-owned properties coming to market. Many investors are looking for these properties." −Ramon Cardenas, Realty Executives Commercial, Pico Rivera, Calif.

"The security industry is a big growth area—both leasing and selling space to companies like First Data Corp., which recently relocated to Atlanta. Sadly, there’s also a demand for companies that can secure and oversee their distressed and foreclosed commercial properties." −Larry Culbertson, CCIM, The C Group, and region director, KW Commercial, Atlanta

"Despite all the vacancies, retail seems to be holding its own. You can’t expect a big upside, but Americans have to buy things, so retail may be recovering sooner than expected." −Robert Toothaker, CPM®, CB Richard Ellis, South Bend, Ind.

"Finding those rehab opportunities now and lining up your investors will enable you to be ready for the recovery. Consulting with owners of challenged properties is also a revenue source." −Jim Helsel, RSR, REALTORS®, Harrisburg, Pa.

"Good leasing brokers are finally getting the fees they deserve after years of being underpaid for the value of their services. Landlords are hungry for tenants. In our market, landlords are paying tenant-rep brokers 4 percent to 5 percent of the gross rental proceeds for the term of the lease." −Gregory Schenk, SIOR, The Schenk Company Inc., Columbus, Ohio

Mariwyn Evans

Mariwyn Evans is a former REALTOR® Magazine writer and editor, covering both residential brokerage and commercial real estate topics.