‘Foong on Finance’ with Keat Foong: Looking Up

Is a disconnect developing between the level of unemployment and the health of commercial real estate?

The nation’s unemployment rate remains stuck at about 20 percent, if you take into account people who have given up looking for a job or are working part time because they cannot find full-time employment.

At the same time, many sectors of the commercial real estate industry are starting to look good, with the multifamily sector leading the way: Apartment occupancies have been rebounding rapidly across the board, in both top and bottom markets alike.  

At the National Association of Real Estate investment Trusts (NAREIT) annual convention held in New York City this week, investors expressed growing optimism about their businesses despite predictions that U.S. employment growth will remain weak through 2011. At about the same time, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services just announced that investor confidence in commercial real estate jumped markedly. And Jones Lang LaSalle’s annual market outlook calls for a comeback in most of the commercial real estate industry in 2011.