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Survey: High-Level Commercial Real Estate Players Are Cautious For 2016


Renowned real estate law firm DLA Piper's 2016 State of the Market Survey reveals that, after seven years of a strong bull market, some commercial real estate executives are growing a little more cautious.


Of those surveyed—C-suite real estate executive who attended the law firm’s May 3 Real Estate Summit (pictured)—62% still remain bullish on real estate over the coming 12 months, but that’s down from 89% in 2014.

Not a huge surprise, as we see the problems that the CMBS market has faced in the first quarter,” Jay Epstien (pictured, below), co-chair of DLA Piper’s Global Real Estate practice, tells Bisnow. “And then you’ve got the economic cycle piece of the analysis—cycles last nine to 10 years, we’re eight to nine years in.”


The newfound cautiousness echoes the feeling of real estate billionaire Sam Zell, who predicted a recession over the next year—along with NFL MVP-turned-real estate investor Emmitt Smith, who told Bisnow in February that “it’s kinda hard to be bullish on anything right about now, when people are insinuating that we’re in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning of a baseball game.”

Still, Jay says that the general feeling, both in the survey and at the summit, is that the industry is still in good shape, with strong fundamentals and rising rents in many markets.

Respondents were most bullish on healthcare for the coming year—a constant for several years now, highlighted by DLA featuring Ventas CEO Debra Cafaro on the lead panel for the summit.

The survey comes after a Q1 that slimmed the wallets of some of the biggest players in commercial real estate. Carlyle’s profits fell 78%, KKR posted a Q1 loss, and the world’s largest landlord, Blackstone, saw profits slashed 75% on the quarter.