Publications

- December 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 11

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On the bubble: Institutional investors can take steps to avoid the worst when a bubble pops

by Reg Clodfelter

Real estate investors may still wake up sweating from nightmares in which they hear the “pop” of the 2008 bubble bursting. Looking at the current market, those same investors may be fearing a repeat after seeing record sales prices this year. Jeff Sutton and General Growth Properties’ purchase of Manhattan’s Crown Building in April for a reported $4,564 per square foot was the highest price per square foot ever paid for an entire office building, and Ivanhoé Cambridge and Callahan Capital Properties’ acquisition of 3 Bryant Park, also in Manhattan, for a reported $2.2 billion was the most money paid for a single office building since 2008.

As of August 2015, commercial property prices across the board are 14.5 percent higher than the prior peak, and major-market prices exceeded their November 2007 pre-crisis peak by about 33 percent, according to the Moody’s/Real Capital Analytics Commercial Property Price Index. These record gross prices, coupled with low expect

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