Ric Clark, CEO of Brookfield Properties and one of the managers overseeing the company’s new $4 billion distressed real estate fund, says the commercial real estate market is already improving, especially in New York. With financial firms hiring again, the bid-ask spread is picking up, the New York-based financier told the Financial Post. Although the industry is still faced with a shortage of liquidity, Clark noted that the recent Developers Diversified deal has spurred some positive movement. “On the heels of that deal, banks are talking about starting to pull a few deals off the shelf and trying to do some non-TALF securitization, without federal backing. But it’s early days,” he said. As for Brookfield, Clark said he believes his company is largely insulated from the crisis because of its small percentage of leases expiring over the next two years: just 2.8 percent. “Yes, fundamentals have been declining when it comes to rental rates, but at the moment we have limited exposure,” Clark said.
[Financial Post via CBC News]