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Long Term Optimism | February 2024 Newsletter

Seasonality has a lot of truth to it when it comes to real estate. The week Thanksgiving hits through mid January, the industry sees a tremendous slow down. Escrows begin to wrap up, many sellers wait for the new year to explore selling and most potential renters want to spend time enjoying the holidays with their friends and families rather than trying to move.

It's now February and the seasonality effect is over, but real estate has remained slow. The reality is that we are living through a lower point in the cycle, driven primarily by higher interest rates that have persisted for longer than people originally imagined. There has been a sense of false optimism that rates would start to come down by March 2024, but the Fed has made it clear that there are no financial or economic indicators that point to lowering rates yet.

Rents have begun to plateau and soften at the same time as owners and operators are seeing drastic increases to operating expenses. Insurance carriers have been issuing nonrenewals or writing policies with 40-60% cost increases. Property utilities are significantly higher. Construction costs are still elevated, causing general repairs and maintenance to be much more expensive.

The cost of owning real estate, between the debt and the operations of a property, has skyrocketed, making it much less economical to buy. The only way to make sense of investing today has come at the tradeoff of price. If an opportunity is priced in line with the cost of owning it then buyers are interested. The problem is that most sellers are not yet ready to accept these new price points so transaction volume is down and won't jump back up until buyers gain new confidence or sellers accept the new world.

As for TGG, we will continue to reiterate that we are actively and aggressively pursuing the growth of our portfolio under the conditions of the current market. The focus of our strategy is to mitigate an investment's downside while maximizing returns for our investors. This has made it much more difficult to acquire assets, but we will not take on unnecessary risk for the sake of buying more. We don't lose money by not buying and we will always prioritize the people who trust us with their money to do what's right.

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