Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real estate professionals bullish on their companies

Commercial real estate professionals are a hearty lot. They recognize the worsening economic conditions nationally, but remain generally positive about the fortunes of their own companies. Those are some of the results of a survey of real estate professionals by accounting giant Grant Thornton LLP. In a survey this year, Grant Thornton found nearly six in 10 real estate executives -- 57 percent -- are pessimistic about the U.S. economy next year, and almost half -- 48 percent --feel the same about the real estate industry’s outlook. Those figures are up sharply from 2006, when 15 percent of survey respondents had a dim view of the national economy and 5 percent were pessimistic about the real estate industry’s outlook. In spite of the latest survey numbers, half of this year's respondents are optimistic about their own companies and only 12 percent had a pessimistic outlook. Other findings: When asked about the single most important issue facing their industry in the next year, 36 percent said the national economy; 21 percent cited earnings and operations; and 19 percent said the ability to borrow money. Also, 69 percent of survey respondents said they think unemployment rates in their industry will increase; 61 percent predicted commercial vacancy rates will rise; and 51 percent believe interest rates will fall. For its survey, Grant Thornton solicited online comments from nearly 1,900 real estate contacts in its database, and sought comments from 4,000 developers, owners and investors who are members of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.
The company collected 341 survey responses in March of this year. More information:

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