Over 500 have packed in at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC the past two days for our second annual Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference, or BMAC for short. Keynote Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute (also an adviser to the Bush, McCain, and Romney campaigns) reports that the US is recovering from the recession at a quicker rate than expected, with real estate prices (residential and commercial) ticking up,increased lending from banks, and other bright spots like higher car sales typical of the "boomtimes of the past."
Fortune editor and bestselling author Leigh Gallagher reports that suburbs are changing dramatically, as developers realize the demand for livelier urban communities outside a city core. (You can take the girl out of the city... but don't make it look that way.) Leigh, who just covered the topic in her book, The End of the Suburbs, says since the American Dream isn't just about owning a suburban home anymore, developers have responded by creating urban-like communities in traditional settings, with all the amenities and feel of cities.
While Millennials may be heading outside of the urban core, Alliance Residential CEO Brad Cribbins (with mic) says their parents are seeking a hip lifestyle without the hassle of suburban home ownership. Demand for high-quality rentals and condos will probably remain high as a result, says Brad, joined on stage by Pantzer Properties' Jason Pantzer, Harbor Group International CEO Jordan Slone, and Goulston & Storr's Debbie Horwitz.