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Local Leaders Hear Latest Research at ODU-Sponsored Real Estate Market Review and Forecast

The Hampton Roads real estate market, while not booming, is showing noticeable improvement across all sectors.

That's the consensus of a group of industry and academic researchers who presented their findings during the 2012 Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review & Forecast on Wednesday, March 14, at Old Dominion University.

The 17th annual program of ODU's E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) was presented to an audience of community real estate industry leaders at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

In each of six sectors - the retail market, industrial market, office market, residential market, multifamily market, and capital markets and real estate finance - presenters painted a picture of a local market that was hit hard, but is coming back slowly.

"The run-up to the market peak that occurred from 2002 to 2004 and 2005 was followed by several years of decline in permits, closings, sales price and revenue," said James Pritchard, manager of data and analytics with the Real Estate Information Network of Hampton Roads MLS, in his report on the residential real estate market.

"But in 2010 and 2011, there were clear signs that the downward trend was leveling off to create a market bottom from which a recovery can take place."

John Lombard, director of CREED and chair of the Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration at ODU, said the scope of this year's Real Estate Market Review was broadened to feature a review of capital markets and real estate finance, "examining the role that commercial and government-sponsored lending played in 2011 market performance."

In that section of the report, Victor L. Pickett, senior vice president and regional manager of Grandbridge Real Estate Capital LLC, noted that the fundamentals of commercial real estate turned more positive in 2011. "Commercial real estate finance, as it relates to permanent first mortgage debt, had its best year since the bubble of 2006 and 2007," Pickett said.

And contrary to common belief, Pickett said there is pent-up demand by commercial real estate lenders to make commercial real estate loans.

"Hampton Roads has been a stable market throughout recent history for institutional lenders and banks that make investments in commercial real estate. As the market continues to stabilize and basic fundamentals for all asset classes of commercial real estate trend positive, this capital will seek real estate investments," Pickett said.

In the year ahead, Lombard said CREED is expanding its partnership with the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute, in addition to many other regional industry partners, to bring the nationally acclaimed ULI Reality Check land-planning exercise to ODU on May 17.

"This event will bring together 300 practitioners specializing in development, infrastructure, engineering and land-use policies for a one-day visioning exercise to determine sustainable and effective planning for our region's projected growth for the next 25 years," Lombard said.

In addition, CREED, in partnership with the College of Business and Public Administration, will launch the Commercial Real Estate Institute this spring. This weeklong instructional program will offer commercial real estate practitioners the opportunity to earn continuing education credits by completing courses in CCIM foundations, Excel and Real Estate Financial Analysis, and Ethics and Leadership.

The mission of CREED is to provide information and resources for the Hampton Roads real estate and economic development communities in their quest to improve the regional economy through job creation and investment. The center fosters relationships with the development community by hosting topical seminars on key development issues affecting the region and works closely with all related professional service organizations.

The Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review & Forecast is available at www.odu.edu/creed or at insidebiz.com as a digital flip book. To receive a hard copy of the report, contact Kyllie Brinkley at kbrinkle@odu.edu, or 683-5352.

This article was posted on: March 15, 2012

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