Brexit spells possible slowdown for CRE firms

Firms are facing drops in commissions
July 14, 2016 05:15PM

From left: Colliers’ Jay Hennick, JLL’s Colin Dyer, Savills’ Jeremy Helsby and CBRE’s Bob Sulentic (Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim)

From the New York website: Facing a Brexit-fueled slowdown in sales, commercial real estate services firms must also grapple with possible drops in commissions and a change in merger prospects abroad.

Shares in firms including CBRE Group, JLL, Savills PLC and Colliers International Group have plunged at the possibility of a decrease in commissions, the Wall Street Journal reported. Cushman & Wakefield, whose initial public offering was expected to come later this year or early next, will likely have to postpone as analysts sound the alarm and firms trade at deep discounts.

“If your peers are trading poorly, your owners are going to say why am I taking this thing public now,” Brandon Dobell,  of William Blair & Co., told the newspaper. “Giving away cheap equity tends to not be a great idea to put before the board.”

Still, some firms may benefit from Britain’s exit from the European Union. Firms with low debt like CBRE and JLL may be able to more easily acquire companies in the U.K. who are facing the uncertainty of a post-Brexit economy, the Journal noted.

The Real Deal in late June took a speculative look at how Miami and New York’s real estate sectors might be impacted by the Brexit. [WSJ]Kathryn Brenzel