But, the firm noted, “One firm controlling a significant portion of Oklahoma City's best retail projects may or may not be good for our market over time and bears watching.”
Jim Parrack, Price Edwards senior vice president and retail specialist, said, “Inland's continued appetite for Oklahoma City's prime retail” is the biggest factor in retail investment sales. “They are rapidly cornering the upper end of the market and appear to want to buy more.”
Price Edwards recorded 13 shopping center sales in 2012, a total of 1.2 million square feet for a combined $127 million. It was the highest level of sales in five years, the firm said, due to improvement in retail generally and increased availability of capital for investment.
The market for commercial mortgage-backed securities is still reviving and could reach $40 billion in 2013, Price Edwards said.
CMBS, the lifeblood of commercial property investment until the credit crash and recession in 2008, provided about $300 billion per year in financing at the peak, but all but vanished in the financial wreckage. Private development stopped cold.
Development capital from CMBS bond sales picked up in 2011 and took off in the first quarter of 2012 before cooling amid economic uncertainties. Now big lenders are again making loans for commercial real estate, bundling notes and selling the aggregate income to investors, then taking proceeds and making more loans.
Further, Price Edwards said, real estate lending by life insurance companies is at an all-time high.
“Much of these two sources of funds go only to the top-tier projects in big markets, but it remains a good sign for us locally,” the firm said.