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- February 1, 2016: Vol. 3, Number 2

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Legacy Wealth and Real Estate: Commercial properties provide critical attributes for sustaining family fortunes

by Will McIntosh, John Kirk and Mark Fitzgerald

The U.S. commercial real estate market is the third largest asset class in America at more than $17 trillion, trailing only U.S. bonds ($40 trillion) and U.S. equities ($30 trillion). As a result, the asset class has become a staple in institutional portfolios, accounting for roughly 8 percent of total holdings. Family offices typically have an even larger allocation, as direct real estate constitutes 12 percent of the average investment portfolio. Yet, the strategies that drive family office investments often diverge from that of larger institutional stakeholders. For instance, family office portfolios generally overweight single-family residential properties, and when evaluating traditional commercial real estate (e.g., offices, industrial, retail and multifamily) they tend to focus on local assets within a specific region. They are also more apt to pursue higher risk opportunities while concentrating largely on the debt and tax benefits of real estate investments.

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