Thoughts from ULI

I have been at ULI's fall meeting since Monday. It's the first industry conference I've attended since August. Not surprisingly, the mood here is very dark compared with what people were saying just a couple months ago.

The consensus seems to be that 2009 is going to be a very hard here. Commercial real estate won't bounce back quickly. The big trend to watch--a rise in distressed property and debt investment opportunities. For retail real estate specifically it's difficult to put a positive spin on what the industry will be facing. From continued pressure on consumers to uncertainty in capital markets to a lack of retailers looking to expand, all signs point to real hardships for retail real estate. The pain will be most severely felt in secondary and tertiary markets. At the height of the boom, cap rates compressed regardless of market. That's now unwinding. Top centers in top markets will weather the storm well. Everyone else will be in for some pain.

More thoughts later ...

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