Am I nuts?
No. Look, there is definitely going to be more pain before we see any gain, but after two interviews today, I started to think that maybe it's not all blood and guts in the market.
"We have seen a trend that keeps ticking upward, and we currently do not see a reason to say that that has plateaued, so we don't think the other shoe has dropped yet," says Trepp CEO Annemarie Dicola. But on the flip side, she adds, the investors are circling. "We find that a lot of our users are combing through the data looking for some interesting distressed opportunities, to try to find the overvalued properties that maybe now should be revalued and invested in."
We already know that Harry Macklowe is jumping back in to the lot vacated by the old Drake Hotel in Manhattan. Also, Blackstone Group is going after Highland Hospitality, a lodging REIT, despite the nasty numbers I wrote above. Why? There is activity, especially in the office sector.
"There's a significant increase in the velocity of leasing, and by velocity I mean the number of square feet leased on a monthly basis," says Steve Siegel, Global Brokerage Chairman at CB Richard Ellis. "New York, for example, the first five months January through May we had an average of 900,000 square feet leased and from June until the end of December we had 1.8 million, so roughly a 100 percent increase per month."