Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Most sectors holding steady in Q1...is this a bottom?

Hard to tell. But Moody's, through NREI, reports that most sectors held their own in the first quarter, with limited service hotels being the notable exception. You could plausibly argue that this is a sign that things are not bad, or you can argue that things are just starting to move down and that banks will own a lot of dirt soon. Case in point: a lunch with a friend recently who predicted that many, many buildings on deals s/he worked on will be going back to the lenders soon. Heck, look at the Macklowe portfolio -- and now he's willing to sell 50% of his company since no "quality" bids came in for the GM Building (wow and ouch - and the New York Post report is even uglier).

It looks like retail is still doing well, which I guess is good for me. Now, I wonder aloud whether all the possible BK filings we're hearing about in the news could impact this, but again, it comes down to location. Yes, there are stores going dark, but plenty of retailers are also building. I'll bet a nickel the ICSC conference in Vegas next month will be, in the words of Arte Johnson, verrrry interesting.

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