Cohen & Steers believes that 2024 will mark a turnaround in private real estate following years of being plagued by issues like a drop in office occupancies and high interest rates. The firm emphasizes that real estate remains a cyclical business with many indications that we are near a trough in the cycle. It acknowledges that some pain is still coming as large amounts of debt will mature in the next couple of years and require refinancing, likely leading to more defaults and distressed assets.
However, this will present an attractive opportunity for investors according to Cohen & Steers. The firm sees private real estate following the same trajectory as public REITs, lower prices in the interim before a gradual recovery as the Fed shifts to cutting rates later in the year.
The firm favors newer properties in the sunbelt over older properties in coastal markets. It sees migration out of high-cost cities and into the suburbs continuing, facilitated by technology and remote work opportunities.
In terms of various segments, it sees less opportunity in Industrial properties due to high prices and indications of a supply glut and lower occupancy levels. It sees office properties as continuing to struggle given unfavorable secular trends. Specifically, it recommends staying away from older office properties which were built for a different time and workforce.
Finsum: Cohen & Steers believes that private real estate is near the bottom, and that buyers at these levels will be rewarded in the long-term.