Equity Group Investments Chairman and billionaire Sam Zell anticipates little dramatic change in 2014’s residential housing market, is eager to tap into the market he says appeals to Generation Xers — and says the 1 percent is being “pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so.”
Zell, who has accumulated a net worth of $4 billion over his decades in commercial real estate investing, told Bloomberg TV’s Betty Liu that the residential single-family market will be benign” in the year ahead. “I don’t see any massive recovery, don’t see any massive rise in prices, and also don’t see any significant downturn,” he said on the program, because the demand for such homes is “relatively muted.”
The hot ticket, he said, is urban markets — the area that most appeals to Generation X buyers at the moment. Though Zell said these spenders are slower to plunk down funds for their own homes, deferring marriage and buying a house for longer than their parents’ generation, when they do commit it is after careful planning to “maximize their lifestyle.” That, according to Zell, means being “in a 24/7 place, where all the action is.”
As for the divide between American haves and have-nots, Zell told Liu that his billionaire brethren are being unfairly stigmatized out of “the politics of envy” and class warfare.
“The world and this country should not talk about envy of the 1 percent, it should talk about emulating the 1 percent,” Zell said. The 1 percent work harder, the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.” [Bloomberg] — Julie Strickland