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Second-Tier Cities Won't Always Play Second Fiddle

For as long as we can remember, Denver, Austin, San Diego, and Raleigh were secondary markets. But the way assets are trading and the cap rates achieved tell a new story. It'll be an exciting topic for the panel at our SoCal Capital Markets Summit at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, Wednesday, Oct. 8, starting at 8 AM. 

Clarion Partners director-acquisitions Bryan Crane (with daughters Carly and Caroline) says these markets are bolstered by job creation and an influx of Gen Y and Millennials seeking an urban environment. Before joining Clarion recently, Bryan bought an office building adjacent to the hot Denver suburb of Cherry Creek. He and wife Brooke, and their two girls just got back from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Ojai is another favorite spot.

Meridian Capital Group managing director Seth Grossman tells us lenders are becoming more aggressive to keep up with the CMBS guys. A lot of his business is 10-year IO CMBS loans. Recently, Seth arranged the debt and equity on a $149.5M loan on 2,700 multifamily units in Arizona. The deal drew offers from every lender category—banks, CMBS, agencies, life companies, and debt funds. Despite cheaper floating-rate debt from a CMBS lender, the deal went to a debt fund due to substantial lender flexibility and track record. Seth says that "any second now," he and wife Jen are expecting a little brother for their daughter, Lucy.

Partner Engineering & Science president Joe Derhake says the two hottest sectors he sees are CMBS and guys paying cash. Partner's due diligence work is up 20% over Q3 2013—a good indicator that the transaction market overall is heating up. He expects to see an even bigger uptick in Q4 as pre-recession debt starts to come due. Joe just took his family to Costa Rica; not only did they see a lot of monkeys (howlers, white-faced, and squirrel) but his two sons, 7 and 10, "acted like monkeys." To hear more, please join us for our SoCal Capital Markets Summit at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, Wednesday, Oct. 8., starting at 8 AM.