The speakers at the real estate conference I attended on March 2 handed out a dollop of optimism for us to stir into our coffee as we listened to their projections about the future of commercial and residential real estate.
This was the Burnham-Moores Center’s 16th Annual Real Estate Conference. About 700 people gathered downtown to hear presentations by Richard K. Davis, chairman, president and CEO of US Bank, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.
Richard Davis spoke about the coming recovery of the commercial real estate industry as we “put the bad behind us.” He used analogies from basketball, and even a clip from the Gene Hackman movie, Hoosiers, to make compelling points about the economy being at “halftime” in this recession/recovery.
I thought it was particularly interesting how he contrasted football and basketball. In football, 11 offensive players leave the field and have time to reset their strategy with their coaches. In basketball, on the other hand, the team plays both offense and defense, transitioning seamlessly from one to the other. Richard drew parallels to the need for businesses to be nimble and do this kind of transitioning, especially in this time of slow recovery.
Frank Nothaft spoke about the residential mortgage market for multi-family and single family residences; it looks good for multi-family, but for single family, not so much. Nothaft sees for 2012 a gradually strengthening economy, about 5% higher home sales over 2011, a large inventory surplus of unsold homes still in the market, and conditions improving in the apartment market in most metro areas.
The detailed information Frank presented for both San Diego and the US is very interesting and up-to-the-minute. You can see all of it for yourself right here.