By Elizabeth Jinks, director of research, Carter
ATLANTA (Jan. 26, 2011) – The volume of brokerage transactions at Carter should continue to improve in 2011, thanks to growing confidence among small business owners and a stabilization of the capital markets, according to the firm’s top transaction specialists.
“Carter Brokerage gross commissions in 2010 were up 32 % over 2009,” said Mike Shelly, executive vice president of Brokerage Services. “We think 2011 activity will be up over 2010.”
From negotiating leases to facilitating sales, Carter has successfully handled $4.6 billion of diverse transactions in the past five years alone through offices in Atlanta and Tampa. Its Brokerage Services unit offers three main service lines: tenant representation, landlord representation and investment sales and dispositions for product types including: office, industrial, retail, hotel, land and mixed use.
The division is led internally by Specialty Group Leaders who are experts in their respective client services and product types.
Shelly, who also leads Carter’s Office Leasing Specialty Group, says investment sales activity – which doubled nationally in 2010 to $115 billion – should continue to pick up momentum this year.
“We see investment sales and dispositions on the increase in 2011 reflecting a settling down of the capital markets and a realization on the part of the banks that they need to get some troubled loans off their books as their capital structure improves,” he says. “We see office leasing increasing improving particularly with small- and medium-sized deals reflecting the growing confidence of the small business sector with tax issues and the economy becoming clearer.”
Gary Lee, who leads Carter’s Investment Sales and Dispositions Specialty Group, agrees that transaction activity will accelerate in 2011 because banks and other lenders are starting to release distressed properties and REO assets for sale. “Lenders and special servicers are more efficiently moving distressed properties into the marketplace for either sale of stabilization which should translate to more sales and leasing opportunities,” Lee says.
Kirk Diamond, who leads Carter’s Office Tenant Representation Specialty Group, expects office rents to remain flat for most of the year before trending upward in late 2011. “Rents should remain fairly stable in 2011 with very little movement up or down,” Diamond says. “As 2011 transitions into 2012, with the increased activity toward the second half of the year, very slight rental increases – in selected markets – will begin to slowly appear.”
But don’t look for Atlanta’s industrial market to bounce back any time soon, says Skip Petters, leader of Carter’s Industrial Real Estate Specialty Group.
“The industrial real estate market in Atlanta over the past five years has gone from 10.3 percent vacant to 14.2 percent vacant, or 81.5 million square feet of available industrial space on the market at year-end 2010,” Petters says. “Now the market must absorb approximately 30 million square feet to get back into balance.
“This could take 2-3 years which means unfortunately there will be no quick fix.”
(In the above photo above, Carter Chairman and CEO Bob Peterson – third from left – stands with Carter’s Specialty Group Leaders Gary Lee, Kirk Diamond, Skip Petters, Mike Shelly and Bruce Probst, who leads the Land Specialty Group.)