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ULI Survey Predicts Modest Slowdown, Quick Economic Recovery

The Urban Land Institute’s semi-annual survey of 40-plus economists and real estate industry analysts suggest an economic and real estate slowdown are on the horizon.

The survey, released every May and November, gives median measurements among surveyed economists on how they’re forecasting 27 economic and real estate data points will fare in the coming quarters and years. The most recent survey was conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 12.

But some of the surveyed researchers who participated in a discussion hosted by ULI on Wednesday say the median results paint a somewhat overly optimistic picture — although, on some metrics, could be too pessimistic in the short term. An informal survey of attendees at Wednesday’s virtual talk found 56% felt the survey results were overall too optimistic.

“It’s likely too positive in general, specifically as it relates to the relative outlook for strength in the macro economy,” said Sabrina Unger, managing director of research and strategy at Los Angeles-based American Realty Advisors Inc. “We’re monitoring a lot of high-frequency data points and we’re seeing how meaningful of a deceleration we’re in, and we don’t think we’re done yet.”

Will Pattison, head of research and strategy at MetLife Investment Management LLC, said he thinks it’s more likely unemployment will trend closer to 6% in the coming years than the survey-predicted 4.5%, although GDP predictions seem accurate, he added. 

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

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