- October 1, 2016: Vol. 8, Number 9

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Brace yourself: Defensive investing strategies for weathering a real estate downturn

by Mard Naman

It’s coming. Everyone knows it — but not when, what will cause it, or how bad it will be. “It” is the next downturn, of course.

If you are looking for signs it may be approaching, pick your poison. Cap rates are at record lows. Commercial real estate values are well above their 2007 levels, but net operating income has not kept pace with the growth in values, which could point to a pricing bubble. Then we have China’s slowing economy and rollercoaster stock market, the shaky global economy, looming Brexit shockwaves and the most polarising US presidential election in memory, which could lead to more economic volatility. Or simply consider it is almost 10 years since the Great Recession started, and we are due for the next down cycle.

The uncertainty is palpable. CBRE’s recent Global ViewPoint, “How Close Are We to the End of the Current Cycle?”, notes, across all regions, the volume of capital flowing into real estate fell in first quarter 2016

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