Monday, November 30, 2009

Real Estate Market Trends Don’t Matter Anymore

This has been “conference” month, and we have attended our share of the retrospectives/prospectives of the economy and the real estate market, both nationally and locally. Most prominent of those conclaves was the Urban Land Institute’s national conference in San Francisco, which was held in early November. It was followed by a local version, called the Trends event, focusing mostly on San Diego.

The idea that trends matter is wrong. These conclaves ought to be titled Apocalypse Now. The nature of the economic beast attacking us requires serious thinking about real change. Not enough of that is going around.

The general consensus from each of the events is that we are in the midst of a long, slow recovery period. So, the message is to attempt to Thrive in Turbulent Times, the subtitle of the local ULI Trends conference.

Not all agree that is possible. “Thriving might be too strong a term,” suggested development consultant David Malmuth. “Maybe the better approach is adapting or surviving.”

Malmuth is correct. There is no point in mincing words. The economy and the real estate market have been in descent for four years, and there is every sign this will last for a couple more. Job losses and unemployment remain high. Discretionary spending is weak.

Posted by: Kelsey Hoffman


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