During times of uncertainty, I prefer owning real assets. Unlike owning stocks, where its value can disappear overnight due to one bad quarter, real estate tends to hold its value better. Roughly 50% of my passive income comes from physical rental properties and investments in private commercial real estate.
Therefore, I thought it would be an opportune time to reach out to CrowdStreet for an update on how they closed out 2021 and their views on the commercial real estate market going forward. CrowdStreet is one of the leading real estate investing platforms today and a Financial Samurai sponsor.
CrowdStreet Year In Review 2021
CrowdStreet investors invested $1.2B* in 2021, making it a record-breaking year for the company. Not only did this set a record for this online real estate investing pioneer, it also surpassed their 2020 record of $600M.
Over the year, their Investments team reviewed 345 deals to determine if they met their criteria for being added to the Marketplace. Of these 345, only 114 launched on the Marketplace, which speaks to their diligent review process*.
*Based on internal CrowdStreet data as of January 24, 2022.
Popular Real Estate Asset Classes
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering which asset classes had the biggest presence on the Marketplace last year. Here’s the data.
Of the deals brought to the CrowdStreet Marketplace in 2021, the majority (55/114*) were for multifamily projects, an asset class where CrowdStreet actually sees strong opportunities for investing in 2022–but more on that later.
There was a tie for second, with 10 industrial and office projects on the Marketplace.
*Based on internal CrowdStreet data as of January 24, 2022.
Cities With The Highest Concentration Of Deals
Your next question is probably where did CrowdStreet see the highest concentration of deals on their Marketplace.
Deals were launched in 43 U.S. markets in 2021, with the highest concentration in Miami, Orlando, D.C. Metro, and Dallas-Fort Worth*.
Not surprisingly, all of these markets have a spot on their Top 20 Best Places to Invest Report for 2022, which we’ll talk about in this post, as well.
Something I admire about CrowdStreet is their transparency. Their Marketplace realized performance is updated on their website monthly. It gives existing and potential investors the chance to see not only how many deals have been realized (sold), but the average IRR, equity multiple, and hold period of all fully realized deals to date.
As of April 22, 2022, they’ve funded over 625* deals, with $3.16 billion invested.
CrowdStreet shared with me they doubled their team in 2021. Their goals for a larger headcount are to:
- Build better technology
- Drive more deal flow (i.e. bringing a greater number and variety of deals to the Marketplace)
- Build an Investment Wealth Solutions team to manage more funds
- Improve investor support for their growing network
*Based on internal CrowdStreet data as of April 22, 2022.
New CrowdStreet REIT Launch
In February 2022, they launched their flagship fund, the CrowdStreet REIT I (C-REIT), a first for them. The fund’s minimum investment is $25,000, much less than the typical investment minimum of usually $250,000 for private equity funds and REITs.
The Fund intends to give investors exposure to approximately 20-25 private opportunistic and value-add commercial real estate projects. To guide the curation of these projects, CrowdStreet’s experienced team of investment analysts is looking at demographic and social changes that are transforming individual markets and asset classes, including:
- An aging U.S. population creating opportunities in life sciences and other healthcare properties
- Growing share of e-commerce over traditional retail sales driving a rapidly expanding need for ‘last-mile’ industrial space
- Ongoing migration to the Sunbelt driving an increase in population and job growth, creating opportunities across multiple sectors and regional markets
In addition to the launch of this flagship fund, CrowdStreet has continued to bring new thematic funds to the Marketplace, including their CrowdStreet Build-to-Rent and Multifamily Fund 1, LLC, Series III, CrowdStreet Sunbelt Growth Fund I, and an upcoming opportunistic fund.
New “Office of The CIO” Education Center
Investor education and thought leadership is important for any investment platform. This is why CrowdStreet created an “Office of the Chief Investment Officer (CIO)” that is focused on publishing valuable insights related to the CRE market.
Some of the content they’ve recently published includes:
The inflation hedge spectrum graph above was included in the “What real estate asset class can provide the strongest hedge against inflation” article, which had some really useful information for new and experienced CRE investors alike.
If you follow CrowdStreet on LinkedIn or on social media, you can be notified when new content like this becomes available.
CrowdStreet’s Latest Best Places To Invest
CrowdStreet’s Best Places to Invest Report uses market and investment insights gathered by their investment analysts to evaluate and identify where they see the most opportunity for CRE investors in the year ahead.
CrowdStreet not only identifies their top 20 markets nationwide, they also identify top markets by asset class, e.g. multifamily investments, life sciences investments, etc.
Austin took the #1 spot this year, switching places with last year’s number one, Raleigh-Durham. With tourism creeping towards a post-pandemic comeback, Orlando had a dramatic jump to #4 overall from #18, while Seattle and Miami both ranked 9 spots higher than they did in 2021.
New to the Top 20 entirely were #11 San Diego, #13 Fort Lauderdale, #14 San Antonio, and #17 Charleston. The full report explains what is driving opportunity in these markets and, like I mentioned, also takes a look at where CrowdStreet sees the most opportunity by asset class.
CrowdStreet’s 2022 Investment Thesis
In addition to their annual Best Places to Invest Report that focuses on where, take a look at their 2022 Investment Thesis. It looks at the future of office and hospitality in a post-pandemic environment, as well as the future of industrial and retail space as demand for and reliance on e-commerce continues to grow in America.
Life sciences–which refers to any commercial building that is part of the medical or biotech world– is a new asset class they added to their investment thesis this year, thanks to NOI growth* over the past decade that was well-above the average for all property sectors.
In looking at the year ahead, CrowdStreet believes the market to be more balanced than they saw it in 2021, putting it in a better position for broader, albeit moderated, growth across the board.
CrowdStreet believes hospitality is poised to enter its next cycle of recovery. Further, they believe multifamily could have yet another record year in terms of pricing in 2022.
*Green Street Advisors – Life Science Insights, 2021
CrowdStreet’s 2022 Investor Benchmark Survey Results
Just as they did last year, CrowdStreet started 2022 by publishing insights from a survey sent to their investor base. 98% of respondents to CrowdStreet’s 2022 Investor Benchmark Survey plan to make at least one commercial real estate investment in 2022.
Of the over 1,000 investors that responded to their survey, the majority had over one year of investing experience while a quarter had five or more years, which makes for some unique insights.
The survey results show a clear appetite for investing in real estate this year, with 66% of investors indicating that they plan to allocate more of their personal portfolio to commercial real estate than they did in 2021–well above the interest shown for other investment types.
When it comes to how many CRE investments investors are looking to make, provided they find deals suitable for their strategy, the overwhelming majority indicated they would like to make 1-3. Over a quarter of respondents were interested in 4-6 and nearly 8% expressed interest in making 7 or more.
Where Investors Are Planning To Invest
CrowdStreet’s investor survey also takes a look at where investors are looking to invest in the year ahead. In recent years, as the millennial population has matured into home buying and starting families, and real estate prices continued to soar, Americans have shied away from higher cost locations.
Investor preference for investing in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the U.S. is in line with where CrowdStreet expects to see investment opportunities in 2022 and beyond.
If you’re looking to get started with investing in commercial real estate, take a look at CrowdStreet. It’s simple to create an account for free and start browsing available investment opportunities on their Marketplace today. CrowdStreet primarily focuses on 18-hour cities where real estate valuations are lower and cap rates tend to be higher.
Investing in commercial real estate entails substantive risk. You should not invest unless you can sustain the risk of loss of capital, including the risk of total loss of capital. All investors should consider their individual factors in consultation with a professional advisor of their choosing when deciding if an investment is appropriate. An investment in a private placement is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk, including the risk of loss of the entire investment. Private placements are illiquid investments and are intended for investors who do not need a liquid investment.
Financial Samurai is a third-party advertiser for CrowdStreet. This article was written by an employee of CrowdStreet and has been prepared solely for informational purposes. The views and statements expressed by Financial Samurai are made solely by the third-party and are based upon the opinions of Financial Samurai. All information is from sources believed to be reliable. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security or investment product issued by CrowdStreet or otherwise. This article is not intended to be relied upon as advice to investors or potential investors and does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation, or needs of any investor. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of money you invest, and past performance does not guarantee future performance or success. All investors should consider such factors in consultation with a professional advisor of their choosing when deciding if an investment is appropriate.
Financial Samurai is a third-party advertiser for CrowdStreet and Financial Samurai is compensated, either directly or indirectly, by CrowdStreet. CrowdStreet uses third-party marketers to market the CrowdStreet Marketplace. Such marketers are generally compensated a fixed amount for each investor that registers on the marketplace as an accredited investor. CrowdStreet does not assume responsibility for the reliability or accuracy of any materials produced by third-party marketers, and any information contained therein should not be used as a basis for making an investment in the CrowdStreet Marketplace or any product or service offered by CrowdStreet or any of its affiliates. The information provided herein does not and is not intended to constitute investment advice. All information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. This article may contain links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader and CrowdStreet nor its affiliates do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. Third-party posts found in this article do not reflect the views of CrowdStreet or its affiliates and have not been reviewed by CrowdStreet as to accuracy or completeness.
CrowdStreet, Inc. (“CrowdStreet”) offers investment opportunities on its website (the “CrowdStreet Marketplace”). Broker dealer services in connection with an investment are offered through CrowdStreet Capital LLC (“CrowdStreet Capital”), a broker dealer registered with FINRA and a member of SIPC.