‘Foong on Finance’: U.S. Will Not See 3% GDP Growth Until 2014

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor

As they say, we won’t see a desirable employment environment in the U.S. soon. U.S. GDP growth is not expected to hit 3 percent until 2014. That analysis comes from the international real estate group Grosvenor.

Grosvenor declined to call the current economy “robust.” “Analysts are pointing to major shifts in structural unemployment in the U.S. as a result of the recession,” says the real estate group.

“The construction industry is a prime example of why so many people are staying unemployed for so long,” states Eileen Marrinan, director of research for San Francisco-based Grosvenor Americas. “Their skills are simply not in demand, and won’t be for many more years.”

However, Marrinan says that the economy is gaining increased momentum, and that the greatest challenges presented by oil prices and the housing market are already behind us.  

The national multifamily market had a less-than-stellar first quarter of 2011, notes Grosvenor. “Nonetheless, apartment sales were up 47 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to a year ago, with activity concentrated in garden apartments.”

Markets with the lowest apartment vacancy rates include San Jose, Portland, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. The highest vacancy rates can be found in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Houston, Jacksonville, and Atlanta, Grosvenor states.

And it says the U.S. commercial real estate investment market continues to improve with high transactional activity, lower cap rates and more plentiful financing.