Insights from The Counselors of Real Estate® Midyear Meetings Program

(Chicago)–June 8, 2017– Attendees at The Counselors of Real Estate® organization’s recent Midyear Meetings in Los Angeles heard dozens of speakers offer insights about the economy and the real estate market –with an underlying theme of recognizing untapped opportunities and taking creative approaches to overcome obstacles and fill voids. The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE), a global professional association for leading commercial real estate advisors, meets twice each year to share perspectives on important issues that affect real estate and identify trends that will change how people will live, work, travel, play and communicate in the future.

Matt Szabo, deputy chief of staff, office of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, described his city as being on the cusp of clinching the 2024 Olympic Games, but focused on a strategy to create more immediate improvements. A heavy investment in public transit is underway, fueled by a rare sales tax increase, Szabo said. It is seen as a bold step forward for a city where cars have dominated the landscape for decades.

He also described the mayor’s regional approach to economic development. “There could be as many jobs created in the L.A. area by transit as the population of Atlanta,” he said, explaining that new rail lines will prompt development of transit oriented housing, providing increased access to jobs throughout the region. Szabo also said that creating a walkable city requires investment in greenspace, parks and even sidewalk repair and trash collection. He noted that data is now being used to identify where trash accumulates and to monitor complaints about the condition of neighborhood streets, which speeds cleanup crews to locations where services are most needed.

Other business and real estate leaders offered these perspectives:

  • “Cross-border capital continues to flow into the U.S. Should we be concerned this will result in the kind of market collapse we saw in the 1980s? No. The market was overleveraged then. That’s not the case now – foreign investment is not as leveraged and debt markets are more disciplined today.” – Jim Costello, CRE®, senior vice president, Real Capital Analytics
  • “The labor market is approaching full employment, but skilled labor is problematic. A ‘garden variety’ downturn is likely later in 2019, but nothing of the scale of the 2008 recession. Immigration is needed to fuel our economic growth.” — Marisa DiNatale, senior director, Moody’s Analytics
  • “Expect 5.3 million net new homeowners in the next 10 years. But realize these are younger people who will shape real estate going forward – size, design, location, everything.” — Chris Porter, vice president, chief demographer, John Burns Real Estate Consulting
  • “Roads and streets–and by default our cities–have been designed for single-occupant cars, resulting in today’s traffic congestion. We’ve even built tunnels under roads for children to cross to their schools, literally putting them below the car in priority. Smart cities are being rethought to serve all users, including cyclists, pedestrians, and children. We need to plan now for that future.” — Ashley Z. Hand, co-founder CityFi and former transportation technology strategist for the City of Los Angeles
  • “Look at China if you want to see where technology is going; they’re far ahead of the U.S. in using it. It’s like China skipped a whole generation of technology and went straight to mobile – which allows literally massive purchasing power, everything from clothing to food delivery—and enables massive data collection.” — Mike Hu, senior vice president, Gaw Capital Advisors
  • “Retail brands set the tone for a mixed use development, For a new development to be successful, though, you have to also carefully plan the ‘outdoor room’–the space around the building where people will publicly gather in large and small crowds. It has to be inviting, a place where people want to spend time.” — Rick Vogel, senior vice president, Related Companies
  • “Be purposeful in hiring bright young people who are collaborative and ethical, then have a plan for each person–to groom them, embed them in the community. And ask the most junior person in the company what they think.” – John Kilroy, Jr., chairman, president and director, Kilroy Realty Corp.

The Counselors of Real Estate organization and its members are known for presenting objective, balanced views on issues of critical importance to real estate and the world. Members of The Counselors include real estate senior executives and business owners in the United States and more than 20 other countries.

The Counselors of Real Estate®, established in 1953, is an international group of high profile professionals including members of prominent real estate, financial, legal and accounting firms as well as leaders of government and academia who provide expert, objective advice on complex real property situations and land-related matters. Membership is selective, extended by invitation only. The organization’s CRE® (Counselor of Real Estate) credential is granted to all members in recognition of superior problem solving ability in various areas of real estate counseling. Only 1,100 people in the world hold the CRE credential. For more information, contact The Counselors of Real Estate, 430 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611; 312/329.8427;