Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HFF secures refinancing for Marietta, GA flex/office parks

ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta and Houston offices of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has secured refinancing for American Business Center and WhiteWater Business Park, office/flex parks totaling 619,628 square feet in Marietta, Georgia.

Working exclusively on behalf of Capital Commercial Investments, Inc., senior managing director Mark Sixour (top right photo) and director Michael Cale (middle left photo) of HFF Atlanta along with managing director Wally Reid (bottom right photo) of HFF Houston placed the five-year loan with PPM Finance, Inc.

The fixed-rate financing, which will be serviced by HFF, provides money for tenant improvements and capital items required at both properties.

American Business Center and White Water Business Park are located at 1395 South Marietta Parkway and 200-220 North Cobb close to Interstate 75 and Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta. The properties are 65% occupied with several large leases pending for early 2009 occupancy.

Capital Commercial Investments, Inc. is a real estate investment firm based in Austin, Texas, which specializes in locating and purchasing undervalued commercial investment properties throughout the U,S.

HFF (NYSE: HF) operates out of 18 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry.

HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, note sales and note sale advisory services and commercial loan servicing. http://www.hfflp.com/.


Mark D. Sixour, HFF Senior Managing Director, 404 832 8460, msixour@hfflp.com
Wallace Reid, HFF Managing Director, 713 852 3500, wreid@hfflp.com
Michael A. Cale, HFF Director, 404 832 8460, mcale@hfflp.com
Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990, lmcdowell@hfflp.com

HFF closes sale of multifamily community in Plymouth, MN

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has closed the sale of Shadow Hills Estates, (top right photo) a 322-unit multifamily community in Plymouth, Minnesota.

The HFF investment sales team was led by senior managing director Matthew Lawton, (top left photo)director Sean Fogarty (middle rigfht photo) and managing director Marty O’Connell (bottom left photo) who marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Principal Real Estate Investors.

Bigos Investments purchased Shadow Hills Estates on an “all cash” basis.

Completed in 2002, Shadow Hills Estates has one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 1,038 square feet each. Community amenities include two pools, a fitness center, billiards room, underground heated parking and resident storage facilities.

The property is located at 4540 Nathan Lane North near Highway 169 in Plymouth, approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis.

“With its Plymouth address, Shadow Hills Estates is located in a top suburb of Minneapolis which in 2008 was voted ‘the #1 Small City to Live in America’ by CNN/Money Magazine,” said Fogarty.

Principal Real Estate Investors is the fourth largest institutional real estate manager in the U.S. based on tax-exempt assets under management (as ranked by U.S. institutional tax-exempt real estate assets, out of 99 managers profiled, as of June 30, 2008. “Real Estate Managers,” PENSIONS & INVESTMENTS, Sept. 20, 2008. ) and manages or sub-advises $44.4 billion in commercial real estate assets.

The firm’s real estate capabilities include both public and private equity and debt investment alternatives.

Principal Real Estate Investors is the dedicated real estate group of Principal Global Investors, a diversified asset management organization and a member of the Principal Financial Group®.

Bigos Investments is located in Edina, Minnesota and was founded in 1984 by Ted Bigos. The company currently holds ownership/management of 33 apartment communities or more than 5,000 units primarily in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.


Matthew D. Lawton, HFF Senior Managing Director, 312 528 3650, mlawton@hfflp.com
Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990, lmcdowell@hfflp.com

Florida's Existing Home, Condo Sales Rise in October 2008

ORLANDO, FL, PRNewswire/ -- For the second month in a row, Florida's existing home sales rose in October, with Florida Realtors(R) reporting a 15 percent increase in activity in the year-to-year comparison.

Last month's sales of existing condos statewide increased 5 percent in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR).

A total of 10,443 existing homes sold statewide last month, up 15 percent over the 9,118 homes sold in October 2007, according to FAR. Florida Realtors also reported higher statewide existing home and existing condo sales in September compared to the year-ago levels.
Thirteen of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing-home sales in October.

Seven MSAs also showed gains in condo sales, marking the fourth consecutive month that a number of markets have noted higher sales activity.

Florida's median sales price for existing homes last month was $169,700; a year ago, it was $222,200 for a 24 percent decrease.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2008 was $190,600, down 8.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors(R) (NAR).

In California, the statewide median resales price was $316,480 in September; in Massachusetts, it was $295,000; in Maryland, it was $271,520; and in New York, it was $215,000.Market conditions continue to range widely, according to the latest housing outlook from NAR.

"A pattern of sharply higher sales in areas with large price declines is well established," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. (top right photo) "Affordability conditions have consistently been a major factor in driving sales. Historically during recessions, buyers have responded to incentives and it's important for government to keep that in the forefront of housing stimulus decisions."

In Florida's year-to-year comparison for condos, 2,956 units sold statewide compared to 2,805 sold in October 2007 for a 5 percent increase.

The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $147,600; in October 2007 it was $192,300 for a 23 percent decrease.

In the latest data available at press time, NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $199,400 in September 2008. Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.20 percent, down from the average rate of 6.38 percent in October 2007, according to Freddie Mac.

FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.Among the state's large to medium-size markets, the Miami MSA reported a total of 453 homes sold in October compared to 367 homes a year ago for a 23 percent increase.

The existing home median sales price was $246,800; a year ago, it was $354,800 for a 30 percent decrease.

In the year-to-year comparison for the existing condo market, a total of 439 units sold in the MSA last month, up 1 percent compared to 436 condos sold the previous October.

The market's existing condo median price was $197,400; a year ago, it was $268,300 for a 26 percent decrease.


Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, VicePresident of Communications, +1-407-438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314, both ofFlorida Association of RealtorsWeb site: http://media.living.net/

Richmond, VA Office Market Vacancy Holding Steady at 12.88%

RICHMOND, VA--Perry Moss, (top right photo) Regional Director of Research at the Richmond, VA office of GVA Advantis, says "It may be difficult to find the silver lining during these difficult times. With almost all key market matrixes on the decline and a chaotic economic and political backdrop, it is easy to point out the negatives.

"A deeper look reveals a few bright spots and gives validity to the future recovery of the market. These are challenging times. No question, however, optimism of a 2009 rebound is certainly reasonable.

In a swirl of negative news, the vacancy rate is actually holding relatively steady. The market rate is 12.88%, whereas 12 months and 24 months ago it was 12.03% and 14.54% respectively.

The market is indeed better off then two years ago. Of course, vacancy is only one piece of a larger puzzle and cannot be viewed in a vacuum. The overriding trends in leasing velocity, sales activity, net absorption, sublet space are all definitively negative.

When layered with the area’s economic issues such as the Circuit City bankruptcy filing and loss of 800 jobs, the LandAmerica buy-out by a Florida competitor, the slow-down in Philip Morris’s business, and a 150 basis point jump in unemployment, it makes finding the silver lining a bit more difficult. Metro Richmond, however, is well diversified and has a long record of resiliency; the market will improve with time.

Over the last 3 quarters, we have witnessed a rather intense slowing in leasing volume. However, the quantity of leases is steady, if not improved. This is due in large part to companies opting for the renewal versus thenew lease or expansion of space. The tenant motto is “wait and see."

Organic leasing growth and new leases from out of market areas are all but non-existent. Of particular interest was that both the SWQ and NWQ class A leasing percentages of inventory
were sub 10 percent.

This magnifies the lower ratio of leasing volume to inventory which is almost entirely a result of the leasing volume as inventory changes generally occur in small increments (for example, the total suburban inventory has increased 3.48% over the past 12 months).


􀂄 A worldwide leading tobacco leaf concern, Universal Leaf, leases nearly 47,000 square feet at the Stony Point Office Park off Forest Hill Avenue. Universal Leaf will be vacating their owner-occupied space on North Hamilton Street upon moving.

􀂄 In Chesterfield, near Courthouse Rd. and Midlothian Turnpike, the Virginia Department of Energy Management Services renews their nearly 34,000 square foot lease on Trade Court in the Southwest Quadrant (SWQ).

􀂄 The Virginia Schools of Technology signs on for just over 31,400 square feet at the Ukrop’s Westmoreland Complex.

􀂄 Insurance provider, Tabb, Brockenbrough & Ragland procures 16,000 square feet at Wilton Park on Dickens Road.


Perry H. Moss, CCIM, MBA, Regional Director of Research, Advantis Real Estate Services Company, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1400, Richmond, VA 23219, Tel 804.672.4248,
Fax 804.783.1920.
E-mail pmoss@gvaadvantis.com

National Trend of Home Price Declines Continues Through the Third Quarter of 2008

NEW YORK, NY, Nov. 25, 2008 – Data through September 2008, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, shows continued broad based declines in the prices of existing single family homes across the United States, a trend that prevailed since 2007.

The chart above depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices.

The decline in the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index – which covers all nine U.S. census divisions – remained in double digits, posting a record 16.6% decline in the third quarter of 2008 versus the third quarter of 2007.

This has increased from the annual declines of 15.1% and 14.0%, reported for the 2nd and 1st quarters of the year, respectively. The 10-City and 20-City Composites continue to set new records, with annual declines of 18.6% and 17.4%, respectively.

"The turmoil in the financial markets is placing further downward pressure on a housing market already weakened by its own fundamentals," says David M. Blitzer, (middle right photo) Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. "All three aggregate indices and 13 of the 20 metro areas are reporting new record rates of decline.

" Looking at the returns of the U.S. National Index, prices are back to where they were in early 2004. As of September 2008, the 10-City Composite is down 23.4% from its peak, the 20-City Composite is down 21.8% and the National Composite is down 21.0%."

Phoenix was the weakest market, reporting an annual decline of 31.9%, followed by Las Vegas, down 31.3%, and San Francisco at -29.5%. Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego did not fair much better with annual declines of 28.4%, 27.6% and 26.3%, respectively.

Dallas and Charlotte faired the best in September in terms of relative year-over-year returns. While also in negative territory, their declines remained in single digits of -2.7% and -3.5%, respectively.

However, both are at rates of decline lower than those reported in August’s numbers. In addition, Charlotte also reported its largest monthly decline on record, down 1.3%. Monthly returns were negative across the board. Cleveland was the one market that showed any improvement in its year-over-year returns reporting -6.4% compared to the -6.6% reported for August.

The table below summarizes the results for September 2008. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are revised for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt of additional source data. More than 20 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to http://www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com/


David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee, Standard & Poor’s, 212 438 3907

Tampa Office Market Vacancy Rises to 14.2%

TAMPA, FL--The Tampa office market enters the final period of 2008 drained by a weaker national economy which is sapping the strength from most sectors of the market.

The direct vacancy rate moved significantly higher in the third period with a full percentage point gain to 14.2 percent.

Sublease space stabilized in the third quarter at two percent of Tampa’s office inventory, but is up almost 30 percent from its level this time last year.

Market rents in Tampa gained slightly over the previous quarter, with an average asking rate of $22.45 per square foot to end the third quarter.

Given the circumstances, the market fundamentals for Tampa’s class A properties have held up relatively well so far this year.

Through the first three quarters of 2008, these properties have managed a modest rise in net occupancy, totaling slightly less than 70,000 square feet of positive absorption.

Market rents have adjusted somewhat given fewer new deals circulating in the market and the growing presence of sublease space, which can offer a competitive option for some tenants.

The average asking rate for class A space ended the third quarter at $24.66 per square, off slightly from what appears to be its pinnacle at $24.85 per square foot earlier this year.

In its tally of year-to-date national office sales through September, Real Capital Analytics reported a 75 percent decline in 2008 transaction volume versus the same period last year.

The office investment market in Tampa has followed the same pattern — Tampa’s office volume, which reached approximately $500 million in the first three quarters of 2007, has dropped by 74 percent through the same period this year.

A few local deals which had appeared to be progressing through various phases have been delayed, leaving their timetable and outcome uncertain at this point.

For a complete copy of the report, please contact Randy Smith, MBA, Regional Director of Research, Advantis Real Estate Services Company, 3000 Bayport Drive, Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33607. Tel 813.342.4725. Fax 813.372.4004.