CEOs of commercial REITS optimistic for a 2010 recovery

January 14, 2010 02:34PM

Several different CEOs of commercial real estate investment trusts said they are optimistic about a recovery in the second half of 2010, during this morning’s second annual Oppenheimer REITS/Real Estate Outlook Forum. The five CEOs — Jay Flaherty, CEO of HCP; Steve Sterrett, CFO of Simon Property Group; Bill Sullivan, CEO of ProLogis; Mark Parrell, CEO of Equity Residential and Charles Ratner, CEO of Forest City Enterprises — discussed the future of the market. “People are more comfortable with their business models and while the first half of 2010 will look a lot like 2009, the second half will be better,” Sterrett said. However, the industrial REIT sector has already bottomed out, Sullivan said. “In the industrial sector, occupancies are above 90 percent and there is smaller delta between top and bottom. It is favorable that there is no new supply,” he said. On the other hand, Ratner is confident that there will be larger demand for new real estate supply. “Last year there was an abrupt halt and we did not start a single project. But as the country continues to grow, there will be a need for new real estate.” TRD