Commercial real estate in the U.S. is at a turning point, with primary markets like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco showing signs of overheating—that’s according to online marketplace for real-estate investments RealtyMogul.com. As is common in this phase of a real-estate cycle, secondary and tertiary markets across the country are where the new action is, the firm claims. So Barron’s Penta asked its real-estate team to identify the top commercial real-estate markets that high-net-worth investors should be looking at. Here they are, in order of preference.
Number 3 and 4 on the list: Nashville and Raleigh!
Nashville. The cost of doing business in Music City, U.S.A. is 20% less than in the rest of the country, claims Helman, and that’s attracting new firms to the area. More than 200 companies have relocated to or expanded in the hip city’s metro area, accounting for 25,000 new jobs and 15 million new square feet of commercial real estate coming online in the 24 months leading up to May. Nashville also has one of the nation’s best recession hedges, as the capital of the U.S. health-care management industry, Helman says. “Whether the economy is good or bad, people still need health care,” she says. There is plenty of opportunity building multifamily housing units, as the city’s population growth outpaces the current supply of properties.
Raleigh. Highly paid young folks are moving into the city in large numbers, with the 20-year-old to 34-year-old crowd accounting for more than 23% of the city’s total population. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University provide a continuous flow of budding, educated workers to Raleigh’s relatively high paying tech and pharmaceutical jobs, says Helman. They aren’t “going to have the capital to buy [a home], but will rent one,” she says. Investors should target rental apartment buildings and multifamily housing units. Homeownership is relatively affordable with the ratio of median home price to median household income higher than the national average, which is also an argument for purchasing multifamily housing units targeted at an older age group.