Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Looking Forward by Looking Back

Moderator:
Deborah Wilson, EVP, Chief Financial Officer, Walker & Dunlop

Panelists:
A. Leslie Ludwig, Partner – Finance, The JBG Companies
Susan Carras, Senior Managing Director, HFF
Deborah Ratner Salzberg, President, Forest City Washington
Jayne Shister, Senior Managing Director, Cassidy Turley

The lively panel of experts provided their views on what’s been happening in the real estate market over the last two decades and what’s to come. Some insights and observations:

  • There have been 2 decades of commercial bank consolidation.
  • The level of real estate activity in 2007 was an anomaly.
  • Things are better than they were, with gradual improvements since 2006.
  • Players are different than in 2008.
  • The market is volatile and still not predictable; it’s hard to be strategic when planning.
  • Cycles tend to be half-year cycles now vs. one year cycles.
  • Equity sources are diversified so need to plan in advance.
  • There is reticence to do anything with a lot of risk.
  • It’s harder now to complete deals – e.g. financing, pricing, etc. as deals are more complicated with every detail being scrutinized.
  • Leasing has slowed, with a lot of the growth poached earlier, resulting in a catch-up mode for 2012 – 2014.
  • Companies are focusing on the fundamentals – the right type of building, leasing, etc.
  • Still think this is a great market in DC - with slow and steady growth – “growth is still growth.”

Click here for a list of attendees.