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Notes for Commercial Real Estate Investments

Commercial real estate is defined as property that is used for the purpose of commerce. For example, an office building, a warehouse, retail store, shopping center or an apartment building with five or more units.

Today in 2010, due to the global recession since 2008, there is a much higher supply of commercial real estate than its demand, and hence the prices are attractive and can be negotiated hard by interested buyers.

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We expect that commercial real estate prices may correct by 10-20% in 2011 depending on the country and city. In general one can’t go wrong with buying commercial real estate (office space, rather than shopping malls) in big cities if the time frame is 5-10 years.

The risk-reward is more in commercial property than in residential property. Commercial real estate returns can give attractive over 5-10 year period; much better than you would get from residential real estate of the same proportion.

Location is very important in commercial real estate. Our experience has been that “it is better in general” to have a small space at a busy city-center/downtown place, than to a big space at a suburb.

London and New York are two cities that will deliver good returns despite recession if you can invest for 5-10 years. Irrespective of where you are in the world, see if you can invest in commercial property in high growth cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc. These cities can deliver 5x returns in 10 years. Continue reading