Archive for August, 2016

Negative Interest Rate Policy – Paid to Borrow & Charged to Save?

Ever hear of a monetary policy by which companies and households get paid to borrow and charged to save money?  Seemingly crazy, this negative interest rate policy (“NIRP”) continues to spread around the globe much like a virus, having already infected central banks in Europe, Japan and other countries accounting for 25% of the global economy. (Thus far, Federal Reserve Chair Yellen has indicated no plans to implement a NIRP in the USA.)

A negative interest rate means the central bank, and possibly private banks, will charge negative interest (i.e., below zero percent), so that instead of receiving interest on deposits, depositors must pay to keep their money with the bank. The policy aims to incentivize banks to lend money more freely, and businesses and individuals to invest, lend, and spend money rather than pay a fee to keep it safe.  Unfortunately, scant evidence exists to support this outlandish policy – suggesting it could just as easily boomerang. While encouraging lending in theory, negative interest rates squeeze bank profit margins, making them less willing to extend loans. If, conversely, banks try passing on negative rates to depositors, those companies and households may simply withdraw their money, stuffing it under the proverbial mattress and denying banks a crucial funding source.

Negative Interest rate image

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2016 Third Quarter Review for San Diego CRE

  • Interest rates and cap rates remain low
  • Inflation and unemployment remain low at about 2% and 5%, respectively
  • New tech jobs are coming as Google and Bizness Apps locate facilities in San Diego

Despite low interest rates, low vacancy rates, and rising rents – record high prices, low cap rates and fears of a potential downturn have begun to hamper CRE investment. We still see promising (and less risky) opportunity in certain sectors though, such as industrial and residential.

quarterly report

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Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate Wanes

U.S. real-estate sales to Chinese buyers fell for the first time since 2011, to $27.3 billion. U.S. realtors say China’s capital controls and currency depreciation, resulting in a cheaper Yuan, have curbed potential buyers. Still, the National Association of Realtors reports the average price Chinese investors paid for homes in the U.S. rose by more than 12% between 2015 and 2016.  California receives about one-third of this foreign investment (compared to New York’s 10%), and California also caters to the lower priced homes of the Chinese market, making it the most vulnerable state to declining Chinese investment.

Chinese

 

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