Speculators could be behind NOLA commercial property bump
12:57 pm Fri, November 16, 2012 POSTED: 12:57 PM Friday, November 16, 2012 BY: Ben Myers, Reporter New Orleans City Business TAGS: commercial property, New Orleans, office, retail
Office and retail space in the New Orleans region is moving with increased frequency, and many of the properties changing hands through sales and leases have lingered on the market for greater-than-normal periods of time, according to data provided by Louisiana Commercial Realty.
It suggests deep-pocketed speculators and other investors are diving into the distressed property market, which is a healthy sign for the local economy, Louisiana Commercial Realty owner Robert Hand said.
“These properties are not loved,” Hand said. “They are blighted properties that require lots of attention, maybe they are in a tough neighborhood. But somebody recently has come along and decided to speculate. Normally the banks won’t loan money for speculation. This tells us you probably have people with deeper pockets that have more equity.”
The average commercial property sold or leased in the New Orleans area in October had been on the market for more than 516 days, 50 percent longer than the average over the prior 12 months. The number of listings in the commercial sector also increased in October from 359 to 404.
Office listings also spiked last month, from 839 to 958. There were 23 office leases and sales, and they had been on the market an average of 637.4 days – nearly tripling the number of days of the previous month’s sales and leases. The asking lease and sales prices for office space were 3.7 and 4.5 percent below the 12-month average, respectively.