Think Positive

May 25, 2011

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty

New figures were recently released by the NC Employment Security Commission which indicated the state added 2,900 nonfarm jobs during April.  In addition, the state’s unemployment rate held steady in April, remaining at 9.7 percent for the second month in a row.  Not tremendous growth, but at least on the positive side especially considering the disastrous job loss we had in 2009.

Along with this news, the North Carolina Department of Commerce released information that it has been working on 149 new projects with 74 actual projects announced.  Over 7,000 jobs have been created with a capital investment of $1.09 billion between January and May, 2011.

We can also celebrate some local good news with the Lenovo announcement on May 20th that it had signed a contract with Affiliated Computer Services, Inc, a Xerox Company, as part of an initiative to expand its Global Services business. The agreement will create approximately 300 new jobs in the Research Triangle region.

Oh, and I congratulate our hometown boy, Scotty McCreery who is a shining light for the Town of Garner and the State of North Carolina.  Way to go Scotty!

Just a few of the reasons why we have a lot to be thankful for living in North Carolina, and specifically the Triangle region.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you and your firm.

The US and North Carolina Continue Toward Economic Recovery

May 4, 2010
Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty

According to the Washington Daily News, North Carolina unemployment dropped from roughly 535,000 in February to about 496,000 in March. Promising news as well from the News and Observer, which said, “The broad-based household survey of jobs shows statewide employment up for four consecutive months (December to March) and increasing at an average monthly rate almost twice as fast as in the nation.”  AW North Carolina is just one of many companies contributing to this advantage. The transmission supplier for Toyota is investing $100 million and adding 360 jobs at its Durham plant according to SYNC newsletter.

Nationally, Wells Fargo’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary reports that real GDP grew at a 3.2% annual rate during the first quarter of 2010 and that consumer confidence was up 5.6 points in April.

Our NAI Carolantic brokers report a continued increase in activity with deals actually being closed.  After a slow start to the year, we have had over 20 leases signed and several sales transactions in just the last 45 days  Our listings, not unexpectedly, have increased 35% and clients are asking us for assistance more than ever.  Please give us a call if we can be of help to you in analyzing your real estate position:  919-832-0594.

State Pension Funds Could Help NC Businesses

February 18, 2010

In the coming year, it will be more important for every possible good-faith effort between commercial lenders and their mortgagees, to extend performing loans and avoid making calls that trigger domino effects throughout our local economy. That’s essential, but it’s not enough. There is simply not enough money for loans to act as a stimulus to economic activity.

E. Stephen Stroud, SIOR, Chairman

E. Stephen Stroud, SIOR, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty

We do know, however, the State of North Carolina has billions of dollars in State pension funds and other funds.  What if these funds were made available through banks that serve all of North Carolina? They could be put to work for economic development purposes such as commercial, residential and industrial development. 

The mechanism is already in place—no new bureaucracy required!  Loans could be given at the equivalent rate as federal funds.  And since banks touch all of the local economies in every region throughout the state, this would help jump start the economy in local communities throughout the state. AND the pension funds would be secure because the banks would operate under the same state banking agency and rules as they do today.

Now’s the Time for an Owner Occupant

February 9, 2010

As we begin our climb out of the recession there are many opportunities in commercial real estate, but none greater than that for the owner occupant…where the proprietor of the business, owns the real estate as well.  There is no better time to make the jump from leasing to owning your real estate!

Kyle Greer, Broker with NAI Carolantic

Why?  First, prices have been reset.  Over the past 24 months, we have seen prices fall on real estate and in some cases as much as 35%.  This is primarily due to the fact that values became so inflated during the boom in the mid-2000’s they are now retracting to a more normal level.  So you are ‘buying in’ at a great time.

Second, if you’re looking to build from the ground up or fit-up an existing building, construction costs are at record lows due to the lack of work.  Contractors have slashed their margins just to keep crews working which translates into a great time to build or expand!  I work with a client who builds the exact same building at all locations and in the past two years, we’ve seen the bid prices drop over 40%!

Finally, and probably most critical is the financing.  In the mist of frozen credit markets, owner occupants are the ones who can get the financing needed to execute deals.  There are many reasons banks still have confidence in owner occupants.  They include:  Banks are anxious to build relationships with these businesses as they can sell them other services that are profitable to the bank; underwriting and monitoring is easier on owner occupied real estate; and typically owner occupants have more assets in case of default.  Not only are the banks eager to work with owner occupants, they are receiving the most aggressive financing out there and in some cases as much as 90% LTV!  There are many other programs such as SBA loans and other stimulus money that is directed to the small business owner.  On top of all of this, interest rates are at historic lows.

In summary, prices have been reset, there are many great properties, building costs have never been cheaper, financing is available, and rates are the lowest they’ve ever been.  If you are a business owner and have been on the fence considering whether or not to purchase land or a building for your business, now is the time to act!