Norway Invests in High-Priced Commercial Real Estate

In just 2014 alone, Norway has purchased over $3.2 billion in commercial real estate in the United States. The increased acquisition of foreign real estate correlates with their sovereign wealth fund goal of 5 percent of their assets in real estate.

There is a perceived tangibility of placing funds in hard assets like real estate, especially in high valued areas that seem stable even when the yield is low going in to the purchase.  As of June 30 this year, Norway’s wealth fund held $10.3 billion of property worldwide, and yet that was only 1.2 percent of their total assets, which puts them 3.8 percent away from their target.

“If the relative value of real estate -- notwithstanding the fact that the absolute price appears high -- is better than other alternatives, you’re still going to maintain strong price stability," said  Spencer Levy, head of Americas Research at the Los Angeles-based CBRE Group Inc.


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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