This post was written by Kimberly Sherman, and originally appeared on the Nickerson PR blog, CheersLive!
On Thursday November 29, 2012, over 400 attendees gathered at the Seaport Hotel Boston for the NAIOP/SIOR Annual Market Forecast, one of the industry’s leading market forecasts. Nickerson PR was the sponsor of the much-anticipated event. “Being knowledgeable as a peer in the field, helps Nickerson PR to provide a better service to our clients – we want to be a knowledgeable business partner to every client – not just a vendor. It was very important to sponsor such an event,” said Lisa Nickerson, Principal of Nickerson PR and Board Member SIOR New England.
David Begelfer, CEO for NAIOP Massachusetts moderated the program. The Keynote speaker, Barry Bluestone, Dean, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, offered an optimistic and timely economic snapshot of our local real estate market. Bluestone’s economic overview mostly centered on why we will return to a 0.2% growth rate. He outlined six things we haven’t paid enough attention to.
1. The demographic boon is over
2. The plateau in educational attainment
3. Increase in inequality
4. Globalization and outsourcing
5. Energy and environment
6. Twin deficits
In closing, Bluestone firmly stated that to avoid this path, we would need major innovation and investment for large-scale ideas. He reminded us that the good thing is the US has accomplished this before, so we should have the confidence that we can do it again.
Some of Greater Boston’s most active real estate professionals presented an analysis of the Massachusetts commercial markets, with a special look at the office, industrial and capital markets. Panelists discussed the drivers and fundamentals behind 2012 statistics, including emerging trends in specific markets, new growth areas and a general outlook for the future. Among these market experts were:
- Industrial: Catherine Minnerly, Executive Vice President / Partner, NAI Hunneman
- Suburban: Duncan Gratton, Partner, Cassidy Turley FHO
- Cambridge Office: David Townsend, Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield of Massachusetts, Inc.
- Boston Office: Kristin Blount, Senior Vice President, Boston, Colliers International
- Capital Markets: Frank Petz, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle
The majority of attendees I spoke to were pleased to leave the event with a feeling of optimism. In the words of market expert panelist Petz, “Boston is hot, we are lucky to both live and work here.”
Some take-aways from NAIOP Forecast attendees:
“It’s always great to hear lots of optimism about the direction of the commercial real estate markets for 2013 and beyond. Absorption rates are increasing significantly throughout the region which bodes well for the CRE market for years to come.” Bud LaRosa, Chief Business Performance Officer, Tocci Building Companies
“It was refreshing to hear Barry Bluestone speak to overcoming the fiscal cliff and offer insight as to why there is plenty of good news ahead for the real estate market.” Merrill H. Diamond, Founding Partner of DIAMOND SINACORI, LLC and IGNITION Residential, LLC
“With 7,500 new multi-family units planned and Boston supporting the effort, it’s nice to be assured that Boston real estate is hot right now.” Markell Blount, Partner, Sparta Consulting Inc.
“I am happily surprised by the level of optimism expressed today. The last few events have been more doom and gloom, so I’ll take this news any day.” Mark Glasser, Principal, Packard Design