While the activity and energy level at last year's RECon was vibrant, most investors remained in fact-finding and information-gathering mode, as opposed to ready to pull the trigger on acquisitions, said Richard Chichester, president and CEO of Faris Lee Investments.
"Today, the people we’re talking to are ready to make choices. They want to know what to buy and sell, how should they position their assets, and what investment strategy is in their best interest relative to their dollar risk," Chichester said.
Anjee Solanki, national retail director, U.S. retail services for Colliers International, said she heard nothing that would suggest the retail transaction market is getting too frothy or that an expectations gap is opening between seller and buyers.
"There’s definitely a lot of investment capital out there, but what we’re hearing from the investor services side is that many institutional investors are still under-weighed in retail," Solanki said.
"Investors are in a deal-making mode, they realize there’s a lot of money on the sidelines and they’re being more creative in creating opportunities and ideas," adds Christopher Cooper, principal and managing director with Avison Young in Los Angeles.
JLL Managing Director Kris Cooper said retail property transactions have reached new heights following the recession and trades are expected to increase further by a projected 15% in a strong but steady 2015.
"We’re seeing investors buy (retail property) at higher premiums and venture into different markets in pursuit of yield," Cooper said. "Retail investors’ acquisition strategies are being driven by limited supply and high demand. It’s that simple."