“Shark Tank” star and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran issued a stark warning about the future of the commercial real estate market as buyers and sellers head into the summer months.
Appearing on FOX Business’ “The Claman Countdown” this week, Corcoran said the commercial real estate market is headed towards “trouble.”
Despite a plethora of commercial vacancies in cities, people aren’t going to jump on them for “pennies on the dollar” because there isn’t enough “confidence” to purchase these buildings right now.
“No one really believes it’s going to turn the corner,” she said bluntly. “People are staying home. Our best office buildings in midtown Manhattan are 50% occupied, and in most major cities or in secondary cities, we have a 20% vacancy rate. No one wants to take that chance.”
Corcoran’s stats reflect a larger trend nationally.
According to data obtained by NBC from commercial real estate company JLL, office real estate vacancies in the U.S. reached levels as high as 20% by Q4 of 2022, the highest they’ve been since the Great Recession in 2008-2009.
Corcoran believes that the regional and small banks will be the ones to suffer, as many businesses are unable to afford or are late on mortgage payments to their lenders.
“I don’t see that turning around,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a bit of a bloodbath before it gets better.”
When it comes to residential real estate, Corcoran said the market is “rebounding” but has an inventory problem. She also noted there is “no relationship” between commercial and residential markets.
“Sellers don’t want to move from their apartment, or their home, because they don’t want to take on higher interest rates,” Corcoran explained. “The people who are going out there and buying are finding they’re overbuilding. They’re having a hard time getting their hands on the house. And right now, what everybody’s afraid of is the high-interest rates. But the minute those interest rates come down, all hell is going to break loose and prices are going to go through the roof.”
Corcoran said she wouldn’t be surprised if housing prices jumped up again by 20% should interest rates drop by two points.
Realtor.com likened Corcoran’s mentality to the “chicken and the egg” riddle caused by the lack of available housing.
“Many sellers report being concerned about finding another home, which may cause some of them to put plans to list on pause,” Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale told Insider. “But this reduces the total number of options for buyers in the market.”
Last month, the Fed raised interest rates another 0.25 points, putting the range between 5.00% and 5.25%.