Winter 1994 Edition of Property Valuation Monitor

What's In and What's Out for '95

WITH A NEW YEAR before us, I thought once again it would be helpful for you to know what is in and what is out.

Single digit vacancy rates are back in; empty "see-through" buildings are on the way out. Massive amounts of foreclosed properties have nearly worked their way out; and "performing" loans are in. Japanese real estate investments, however, are currently down and out (in the US). But overall, stable and increasing property values are in.

REIT returns, although down, are definitely not out. In fact, REITs in pension funds are in. Securitization and conduits for commercial real estate debt are also in. Low interest rates, however, are unfortunately out; yet widely-available money for commercial real estate loans is in.

Elevator Inspections Are Out

Although new shopping center development is out, existing mall and shopping center recycling are in. Elevator inspections, however, (in Massachusetts) have been out; many people are, therefore, afraid to step in.

Robert Palmer (the Whitewater real estate appraiser) may be going in (the big house), Robert Palmer (the CEO of Digital) is trying to get the Alpha chip out (into the market), and Robert Palmer (the "Addicted-to-Love" singer) just can't seem to get a new hit song in.

Lower Capital Gains Tax Are In

A lower capital gains tax rate may be on the way in, but the glut of real estate appraisers is forcing many appraisers out. Interstate banking, however, is on the way in, and the Greater Boston area real estate market, long out, is now in (as one of the nation's top ten investment markets). Regional malls and industrial warehouse properties are both in, and although downtown offices are still out, suburban offices are now in.

Telecommuting Is In

Speaking of offices, telecommuting to the office is in. And if you're on the information superhighway, the open exchange of real estate data (e.g. the clearinghouse) also is in, but the concept of closely-held, proprietary, real estate data is out.

Dominique and José are in. Also, O.J. is definitely in, but as we all know his lawyers are doing "absolutely, positively, 100%" everything possible to get him out.

Finally, if you need commercial or industrial appraisal work performed -- of course, we are always in. Give us a call -- "that's what we're here for."

The author, Stephen Traub, ASA, is Chief Commercial Appraiser for Property Valuation Advisors, Newburyport, MA. He is a certified general appraiser in NH, ME and MA. He can be reached at (508) 462-4347 or by e-mail at:

Other articles in this Winter 1994 issue include: Price Increases Seen on Commercial Property; Review of: The Story of Land by Powelson (Published by the Lincoln Land Institute); Commercial Mortgage Survey; Northern New England Vacancy Survey; Four Letter Words of Real Estate.

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