Perfect economic storm brewing in Houston, nation

I am afraid, sincerely petrified, for my country, and, no, I’m not channeling Glenn Beck. My business, tenant representation, is good. There’s money in the bank. My accounts receivable are current. My retirement account has almost recovered from its 2007 lows. We refinanced our house with a conventional 4.25 percent 15-year loan. Nevertheless, I fear…

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Restructuring among factors shaking up office market

Houston’s office market is still heavily weighted in tenants’ favor. Big picture: The market will continue to soften, even as leasing activity (coming back from deeply depressed levels) picks up. Huh? Let me explain. Last year, we were left with 230,000 feet on the market after the implosion of Stanford Financial. More vacancy is looming…

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‘Extend and pretend’ strategy won’t avoid the inevitable

Office building values have plummeted in value as much as 50 percent since their 2007 peak. The factors causing this decline were many. Fully cognizant of the real estate value implosion and the general economic malaise, office tenants wonder, “Why haven’t rental rates come down more?” Good question. Unlike past downturns in commercial real estate,…

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Ugly picture will get uglier before improvement sets in

Three or four times a week, I meet with office tenants to talk about their business, macroeconomics and how they relate to the Houston office market. Just the facts: Last year, oil gyrated from a speculation-driven $140 per barrel, to a low of $32 per barrel and is now approximately $78 per barrel. Most important…

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Houston’s energy industry impacts office rental rates

Office rental rates in Houston are about to skyrocket. In Houston, those rates correlate with oil prices almost perfectly, and recently oil prices have skyrocketed themselves. Although that’s good news, companies should still use caution when signing leases as more affordable office space becomes available. That indicator has resulted in some significant real estate indicators….

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