Top Takeaways: ICSC Here, We Go. 2021
Slatt Capital recently attended the ICSC Here, We Go. 2021 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although a smaller and more focused crowd geographically, the overall setting was filled with energy and optimism. Across the board, attendees voiced how great it was to be back in an in-person environment and that it was starting to feel normal again. Normal may have been a slightly conservative description as it was clear from all different players at the event that business right now might be normal, but with a little bit of chaos thrown in… high energy, high volume, and a desire for more deals permeated the hall. The biggest question for most: will this rebirth of retail carry on through next year? Based on that question, here are some takeaway thoughts from Slatt Capital as well as our strategic relationships—Putnam Daily, Partner with Preserve West Capital, and Chris Sheldon, Executive Director with Cushman Wakefield.
- Despite light attendance from the tenant community, developers are bullish on tenant expansion in 2022 and 2023. Both public and private companies are looking to rebound post-COVID and push revenue growth by opening new stores.
- Confusion over tax policy to close out 2021 will result in enhanced demand in early 2022 by way of a wave of private capital investment completing 1031 exchanges.
- Interest rates are likely to rise due to inflationary pressures in 2022, but surging demand, constrained supply, advantageous bonus depreciation schedules in 2022, and room for compression in lender spreads could keep rates from moving too far to the upside and cushion upward pressure on CAP rates.
- Investors are looking for yield; with limited alternatives to choose from combined with pressure to put capital to work, many asset managers/investors in the retail space are showing interest in product types that had previously been out of favor due to the Amazon effect or COVID measures (i.e., junior box product, casual dining, entertainment centers, fitness, etc.).
- Buyers’ options are limited from a product standpoint – it’s the most fast-paced market we have seen in the last 15 to 20 years and the bid/ask margin is as tight as it has ever been. Lots of deals trading above asking price levels with multiple offers. Any premium for forward commitment to purchase has disappeared. Investors are having to take new measures to find deals, as many opportunities are not even hitting the market.
- “2022 will look like 2021.”