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Why California Real Estate Still Has Room To Run

Those in commercial real estate are very optimistic about the next three years, with expectations the market will stay at least as tight as it is now. But there is caution as well, as many are concerned this latest business cycle is nearing an end, according to the latest Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson Forecast California Commercial Real Estate Survey.

Jerry Nickelsburg of UCLA Anderson Forecast

California's real estate is booming once again in all asset classes, the survey reports. Among the surprises: strong growth in retail even as brick-and-mortar competes with online shopping and trends expected to continue pushing office growth into the East Bay.

But there is caution about the coming years. We are mid- to late business cycle, and a recession will happen at some point, says Jerry Nickelsburg, senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast.

John Tipton, Allen Matkins partner

This has been a historically long recovery, bringing into question how long it will last, says Allen Matkins partner John Tipton. Click here to see Allen Matkins' video overview of the forecast.

Mark Payne of Panattoni Development on Allen Matkins / UCLA Anderson Forecast

Panattoni Development Co partner Mark Payne says the expected rise in interest rates affects the ability to see beyond two years, something driving his company to focus on projects that deliver quickly.

Valerie Achtemeier of CBRE for Allen Matkins / UCLA Anderson Forecast

Everyone is asking what inning we're in, says Valerie Achtemeier, CBRE EVP of capital markets. Office rents have reached peak levels or are close to peak, but the fundamentals remain good and commercial real estate is seen as a safe bet on the global scale. She says investors from other countries are picking up all property types —not just trophy buildings, but also industrial portfolios. Click here for Allen Matkins' industrial forecast video. For the office video, click here.

Tony Natsis, Allen Matkins partner

The smarter people know there is a cycle, they just don't know when this one will end, says Allen Matkins partner Tony Natsis. Cautious developers are banking land and looking at deals that don't have to be built immediately, he says.

Chart for winter/spring 2016 Allen Matkins / UCLA Anderson Forecast California Commercial Real Estate Survey

In the multifamily market, capital is spurring new luxury projects and there's a trend to pull in hotels as part of a condo complex with those hotel services becoming part of the condominium's amenities, says CBRE greater LA & OC  president Lew Horne. Click here for Allen Matkins' multifamily video.

Lewis Horne, CBRE, for Allen Matkins / UCLA Anderson Forecast

Growth in retail was one of the study's surprising new trends. More than half of those surveyed planned to build this year. Click here for the retail video.

Retail is moving from a distribution outlet to building an experience, which is driving new development, Jerry says. Lew says the most popular retail centers are well-located ones where shoppers can go to the movies, have a bite to eat and browse a variety of stores.