Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BOMA International Advocacy Update - BOMA Hosts Congressional Real Estate Briefing on Capitol Hill

On July 23, 2013, BOMA International, in conjunction with the Congressional Real Estate Caucus and the National Real Estate Organizations (NREO), hosted a State of the Real Estate Industry luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill.  The briefing was designed to provide Senate staff with information on current real estate market conditions and suggested policies that can help the real estate industry grow.

The event, moderated by BOMA International President Henry Chamberlain, began with remarks by Senate Caucus Co-Chairs Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who both stressed the importance of a healthy real estate market to the economy and noted the industry’s slow, but steady, economic improvements. As Senator Isakson stated, “Real estate is out of the ICU, but it’s still in the hospital. Real estate is breathing on its own, but we still have a long way to go.”

Following comments by the senators, David Crowe, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders, and Kevin Thorpe, chief economist with Cassidy Turley, provided an overview of the current state of the residential and commercial real estate markets, respectively. According to Thorpe, the industrial and multi-family sectors are “red hot,” with demand exceeding pre-recession levels, but office and retail continue to lag behind, meaning it is still largely a tenant’s market for all but trophy buildings in primary markets. Per his calculations, commercial real estate is about 12 to 24 months away from sustained rent growth, as commercial real estate historically tends to be one of the last markets to recover from a recession. He believes that a long-term, transparent federal budget would go a long way towards helping the industry thrive again. His sentiments echoed those of Senator Cardin, who asserted, “The number one thing we need to do to help real estate is to create an economic blueprint for this country.”

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