Urban Land Institute: What issues concern industry leaders for 2014?

Here are the issues that concern real estate industry leaders. (Source: Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014, Urban Land Institute)

Here are the issues that concern real estate industry leaders. (Source: Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014, Urban Land Institute)

by Dan Rafter

Plenty of good news came from the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014 report unveiled by the Urban Land Institute at its fall conference here yesterday. Most notably, commercial real estate leaders in the United States predicted that industry profits will grow stronger in 2014.

Industry pros also told the Urban Land Institute that access to equity and debt capital will improve, too.

This doesn’t mean, though, that industry leaders don’t have concerns. The biggest should be little surprise. Industry leaders told the institute that they are most concerned with the country’s sluggish job growth and the prospect that interest rates will rise throughout 2014.

Other concerns? Leaders say they worry that income and wages aren’t growing fast enough for consumers and that infaltion might become an issue next year.

Other fears centered on economic problems across the globe, the federal government’s tax policies and federal fiscal deficits and imbalances.

When it comes to development issues, industry leaders told the institute that their biggest concern for 2014 was the threat of higher construction costs and higher vacancy rates.

Even with these concerns, though, industry pros told the institute that they are generally optimstic about real estate and the country’s economy in 2014.

Perhaps this quote, higlighted in the Emerging Trends report, sums it up best: “With the economy in a position where the tailwinds are now stronger than the prevailing headwinds, 2014 should be a year when we see real estate fundamentals improve in sectors beyond the very healthy rental growth multi-family sector to a point where we could see above-inflation-rate rental growth.”

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