Survey: It’s a Buyer’s Market, Dry Cleaners Say

Bruce Beggs |

But 55.8% say their real estate commitments are appropriate right now

CHICAGO — A stronger labor market and increasing household formation should keep commercial real estate demand on a gradual incline, according to the National Association of Realtors® most recent quarterly forecast.

Among dry cleaners polled in this month’s American Drycleaner Your Views survey, 46.5% believe that now is a good time to buy or refinance a property in their area, while 7% say conditions are good for signing or renegotiating a lease.

Roughly 12% say now is a good time to take advantage of either option, while 27.9% believe that neither option is favorable right now. The remaining 7% chose “other,” with many of those responses pointing to it being a time to sell real estate.

“Real estate values have skyrocketed in the last two years,” writes one respondent. “Prices are very high.” Without sharing his/her reasons, another respondent says we’re about a year away from it “being a great time to sell.”

When asked about their current real estate position, the majority—55.8%—say their commitments are appropriate at this time. Roughly 21% are looking to sell a property, and 7% are trying to end leases and close locations.

Roughly 9% are in the market to buy or refinance a property, 2.3% are looking to sign or renegotiate a lease, and 4.7% are open to buying or leasing.

Some of the other individual comments we received:

  • “Landlords think the economy is booming, but dry cleaning is a little soft.”
  • “I built my own freestanding location in 1985, and it is paid for. The recession caused a glut of available space on the market which is now approaching normal levels and driving rents higher in my area.”
  • “My property (land and building) value continues to grow, and I will have it paid off in 18 months (10 years from inception). It has become a larger asset than my business, in spite of the continued growth of the business.”
  • “Sales by location are too slow to expand and yet good enough to be kept open.”

The Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment and should not be considered scientific. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Subscribers to American Drycleaner e-mails are invited each month to take a brief industry survey they can complete anonymously. The entire trade audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define owner/operator opinions and industry trends.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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