Publications

- January 1, 2023: Vol. 15, Number 1

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Seeking distress: How investors can take advantage of market dislocation

by Alex Frew McMillan

The pandemic hasn’t just disrupted everyday lives. It’s had a profound impact on financial markets, an impact that spills over into real assets such as property.

The initial reaction to COVID-19 caused a stalling of sales, with deal volumes grinding to a halt. The inability to meet team members, lenders and service providers was compounded by the inability to visit physical real estate.

The record-low interest rates and record-high levels of quantitative easing and fiscal spending then supported the market, giving it a solid underpinning. This meant distressed deals as a direct result of the pandemic were rare; governments often stepped in with rental moratoriums or to temporarily bar evictions. Central banks lent support to troubled lenders and nonperforming loans. There was no widespread distress, outside special circumstances.

It’s clear that governments were swift to step in at a time that a strong arm of support was a “necessity”, says Mark Green,

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