To really judge the strength of a commercial real estate market, you have to look at how it compares to similar cities across the country. That can be a challenge.
Jason Tolliver, director of research at the Indianapolis office of Cassidy Turley, mentioned this to me during an interview this week. I was talking with Tolliver about the state of the commercial real estate market in Indianapolis. You can read about his thoughts in the September issue of Midwest Real Estate News when we run a closer look at this key Midwest market.
During our conversation, Tolliver said that commercial activity in Indianapolis was holding steady. Every market segment was showing improvement. But, of course, the pace of the city’s commercial real estate economy wasn’t exactly brisk.
It’d be easy for brokers in this city — and in all the markets we cover for Midwest Real Estate News — to become frustrated by this. We all want commercial activity to rise at a much faster rate.
But then Tolliver said an important thing: When comparing real estate markets, it’s important to take a broader view.
“We are actually very fortunate in Indianpolis,” Tolliver said. “It can become difficult for any market to step back and take a look at how they are doing compared to other markets. It can be difficult to not be myopic. When we look at other Midwest markets and the action in them, we can see that we are doing very, very well. Activity isn’t as high as it was before the downturn. That’s true. But we are donig well compared to other markets.”
This is a valuable lesson. Undoubtedly, commercial real estate activity in your market isn’t occuring at nearly a fast-enough pace to satisfy. But if you take a look across the country, you just might find that things could be a lot worse.
– Dan Rafter