Investors currently view apartments as the most favorable commercial property type to buy, according to an April online survey of 467 investors conducted by NREI and Marcus & Millichap. More than one-third of respondents (38%) reported that now is the time to purchase apartments, followed by retail (24%), industrial (23%), office and mixed-use (tied at 21%), and hotels (18%). An even higher percentage of investors said that now is not the time to buy or sell commercial real estate. Between 45% and 49% of respondents indicated now is the time to hold each major property type.

The recession also is taking a toll on effective rents. Hotels, office and retail investors have taken the biggest hit on that front. Between 53% and 61% of investors in those three property types noted a drop in effective rents over the past 12 months.

Across the property sectors, at least half of investors reported a decrease in their property values over the past six months, and between 27% and 45% expect a further drop over the next six months. For more analysis, go to and click on Real Estate Investment Quarterly Report.