Publications

- September 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 8

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Data and decision making: Infill industrial and the new era of real estate transparency

by Dave Esrig

The U.S. real estate industry has long been the most transparent in the world. Investment advisers have data feeds of all individual commercial and apartment transactions with prices, area in square feet and, often, net operating income estimates from Real Capital Analytics. We get vacancies and absorption in decades-long time series from suppliers such as CBRE Econometric Advisors and CoStar Group. We can even slice and dice private-market appraisal-driven performance by querying the NCREIF database.

Ultimately, though, nothing is more important than rents. We are, after all, in the business of selling space, and our successful execution in that marketplace hinges on us knowing where it clears. For apartments, a supplier such as Axiometrics/RealPage offers us individual building-by-building rent time series by bedroom count for tens of thousands of buildings across the country. Because this information is geographically tagged, we can (and do!) match building time series wit

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