Over 300 industry professionals attended NAIOP Chicago’s 2019 real estate forecast breakfast meeting. For the eighth year, Dr. Mark Eppli, director and faculty associate, James A. Graaskamp Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared his industry trends and predictions.
Eppli was cautiously optimistic for 2019, stating that, “the country is in the midst of its second-longest period of sustained economic growth in history,” but at the same time emphasizing that “history shows us the worst transactions are done at the best of times…Now is the perfect time to be cautious.”
During a question and answer period, Eppli fielded several inquiries, including on the topics of increased allocation of pension funds in real estate and whether the United States will remain the preferred “flight to quality” destination for international investors. He said that he believes the U.S. will remain the preferred spot, but there are legitimate concerns regarding China and tariffs.
In one final, hopeful note, albeit in the context of a difficult situation that has been unfolding, Eppli said the partial government shutdown will not have a lastingly negative effect on the economy.
“The American consumer has been resilient to some of the—for lack of a better term—silliness that goes on in D.C. at times…they don’t seem to be impacted largely by that,” Eppli said. “I would argue probably the same as it relates to the government shutdown.”