In a talk at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, outspoken chief executive officer of Starwood Capital Group, Barry Sternlicht, admitted that he harbors concerns about a commercial real estate “bubble” in markets like New York and Washington, according to Bloomberg.
Sternlicht seemed especially concerned about investors bidding up prices using floating rate debt, which brings back bad memories from 2006 and 2007. That has pushed cap rates down. “It’s dangerous,” Sternlicht said in remarks reported by Bloomberg. “You don’t know where rates will be in two years, and that creates a difficult investing challenge.”
Are Sternlicht’s remarks a harbinger of problems down the road or venting from someone losing deals? And are they applicable to multifamily? The answer is definitely yes say a number of of observers I’ve talked to over the last couple of weeks. Like Sternlicht, many of these executives are seeing more aggressive investors leaving them on the sidelines.
“The business is really competitive,” said one key executive. “There are interesting opportunities but pricing is ridiculous.”
But will it lead to a bubble? What do you think?