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Alternative Investment

Harrison Street CEO on Smart Bets in Slow Real Estate Market

Harrison Street CEO Christopher Merrill (Harrison Street)

Harrison Street CEO Christopher Merrill (Harrison Street)

Commercial real estate deals have sputtered in the second half of 2022 as borrowers face higher costs and uncertainty lingers over the economy.

In New York, investment sales slid 30 percent from the second quarter to the third. Office deals in South Florida slipped 66 percent year over year in September. Nationally, multifamily deals skidded to what one economist called a “virtual standstill” in October.

Amid that stagnancy, Christopher Merrill, CEO of Chicago-based alternative investment firm Harrison Street, is making a case for the niche asset classes like student housing, senior living, self-storage and life sciences, which he says can outperform in a down market.

“These asset classes are social infrastructure,” Merrill said on the latest episode of The Real Deal’s weekly podcast, “Deconstruct.” “They’re need-based assets, so demand is consistent throughout economic cycles.”

“If one is concerned about a pending recession,” he added, “Our asset classes really are ones that will be resilient.”

Hear the full breakdown on the latest episode of “Deconstruct,” now streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcast fix.

This episode was brought to you by Dottid.

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