by Dan Rafter
The commercial real estate market is a busy one today. And few property types are generating as much activity as are single-tenant net-lease properties.
Stan Johnson & Co. recently released its latest research report on this sector. And the biggest news? In the fourth quarter of 2016, the sale of single-tenant net-lease properties grew 29 percent to a volume of $15.8 billion, as compared to the prior quarter.
According to Stan Johnson & Co., this fourth-quarter push was the second best on record for this sector. For all of 2016, single-tenant net-lease sales accounted for $52.5 billion in volume, the second highest this number has ever been.
Who is buying these properties? Stan Johnson reported that for the fourth quarter, real estate developers and other single-purpose entities represented 26.9 percent of net-lease acquisitions. These buyers, who spent an average of $11.3 million on their acquisitions, preferred office properties first, then industrial and retail.
Institutions such as life insurance companies, investment managers and trust departments purchased 16.5 percent of the single-tenant net-lease properties sold during the fourth quarter. These institutions spent an average of $16.4 million on their net-lease purchases, and preferred to buy retail properties first, then office and industrial.
Private equity funds purchased 16.2 percent of the net-lease properties during the quarter, spending a much larger average of $28.2 million on each deal. These buyers preferred office, then industrial and retail.
Stan Johnson reported that single-tenant office sales, a category that includes medical office space, enjoyed the strongest fourth quarter. Sales jumped by almost $1.49 billion, or 31 percent.
One of the bigger office single-tenant net-lease deals of the quarter was the joint venture of KAMCO and 90 North buying a 330,000-square-foot office building in Cincinnati that was leased to General Electric for $107 million. Two of the bigger industrial net-lease deals took place in the Midwest, too. In DeKalb, Illinois, investment fund manager AIC Ventures acquired the 400,000-square-foot distribution center of Cast Aluminum Solutions in a sale-leaseback for a reported $69.4 million.
And in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Commonwealth REIT sold the manufacturing facilities of New Flyer, the largest bus maker in the United States to Broadstone, a REIT. The 338,000-square-foot facility sold for a reported $23.05 million.