Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explains to NMHC Chairman Bob DeWitt the reasons why he's still optimistic about the economy
NMHC has officially dug out of more than 20 inches of snow that blanketed the area over the weekend and is happy to finally report on all the happenings from the 2016 Annual Meeting in Orlando last
Amid significant softening in key global markets and the price of oil continuing its downward slide, the question on most executives’ minds was whether the U.S.
economy is headed toward a new recession-and if so, what kind of ramifications will that have on apartment demand, capital flows and development pipeline.
“Our fear is just slow growth.
China is slowing down and Europe’s slowing down.
is going to be pulled down for a while, so it’ll be slow, sloggy growth,” explained Ken Valach, CEO of Trammell Crow Residential, during a panel discussion.
“When we went into 2009, the deals we struggled with were the ones from 2006 that we couldn’t refi or sell.
And we’ve always got that [risk] in our business.”
| Executives discuss urban development trends|
To get the best read on what’s really happening in terms of a slowdown, NMHC Chairman Bob DeWitt went to one of the greatest economic minds around: Dr.
Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Bernanke acknowledged some of the increasing economic headwinds but refrained from sounding any alarm bells.
“I feel very upbeat about the U.S.
economy long term,” Bernanke said during the one-on-one interview.
“The fundamentals are good.
Our demographics are good.
We’re the hi-tech center of the world.
And we continue to have a market-oriented, entrepreneurial culture.
So, overall there’s a lot to be optimistic about.
economy isn’t going gangbusters, but I’ve been traveling around the world and we are definitely the envy of many a world economy.”
That may have been the only pep talk attendees needed, but for good measure, legendary college football coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz offered some words to live by to
NMHC’s Executive Committee in a special private session on Tuesday.
“There’s never a right time to do wrong and a wrong time to do right, so do right,” he quipped.
Deal making still took center stage, as attendees networked everywhere from in the hallways to out on the lawn, despite the chillier-than-usual temperatures.
But as much activity was happening in the session rooms as outside.
|Lou Holtz, college football coach and ESPN analyst|
Many attendees got primed for the 2016 Annual Meeting by attending the pre-meeting, one-dayApartment Strategies Conferencefor expert takes on apartment market drivers and capital flows.
The sector continues to attract diverse capital for new development and acquisitions, but stiff competition for deals makes it more challenging to get deals closed.
Industry executives also tackled topics that ran the gamut from changing consumer behaviors and emerging technology trends to the evolving sustainability
In addition, there was some heavy discussion of growing affordability headwinds amid stagnant incomes and rising development and operational costs, as well as the policies some local and
state governments are looking to put in place to in response to these market forces.
“I don’t know that it [affordability] is a crisis, but it definitely is a concern,” said Craig Leupold, president of Green Street Advisors, during a
session on Tuesday.
“We talk about roommates and kids in basements.
And we look it as a good indicator of future demand for apartments, but I’m not so sure that it’s not because of affordability issues.”
Clyde Holland, chairman and CEO of Holland Partner Group, also said, “Our biggest risk is not creating an effective voice so policymakers understand that it’s not
us [driving up rents].”
|NMHC's Emerging Leaders and Diversity committees team up on a special lunchtime panel|NMHC’sEmerging Leaders Committeealso contributed to this year’s program.
In conjunction with NMHC’sDiversity Committee, Jessie Henry of Mill Creek Residential hosted a panel during an
Emerging Leaders networking lunch, where minority and female industry leaders from AIG, Capital One, Wells Fargo and Bozzuto Management Company shared advice on how to succeed in the industry, given some of its built-in biases and old-school practices.
In addition, the committee hosted once again its competitive mock investment panel, where young executives pitch their best deals to a group of industry veterans.
Lennar’s John Gray, who presented a new construction opportunity in Chicago’s Loop/Fulton Market submarket, went home with the win.
[Read “Another Young Gun Winner Chosen.”]
|NMHC President Doug Bibby (left) interviews industry legends Ron Terwilliger
(center) and Roger Staubach|
Other highlights from the agenda included a candid discussion with CNN’s Peter Bergen on homegrown terrorism in America, providing perspectives on how lone-wolf
style attacks have the potential to impact soft-targets like apartment buildings and their residents.
However, according to Bergen, “Terrorism as a tactic has been around forever and is not going away, but Bush and Obama have created a pretty effective defense, as well as offense.”
But one of the meeting’s best highlights was a star panel featuring former NFL champion Roger Staubach, executive chairman for the Americas at Jones Lang LaSalle,
and multifamily legend Ron Terwilliger, chairman of Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Partners and chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential.
The two shared common memories of their time playing a multitude of sports at the Naval Academy and insights into building successful industry empires.
NMHC is also very proud of all who laced up their sneakers way too early on Thursday morning to support our veterans.
NMHC members raised $254,000 for Team Rubicon.
Clyde Holland of Holland Partner Group made a $46,000 matching contribution, bringing the total raised to $300,000 for the organization, which unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response
NMHC thanks all attendees, speakers and sponsors for contributing to another productive Annual Meeting.
We hope you got the networking, information and insights you need to have a successful 2016.
And if business meetings caused you to miss something, you can always catch up on the NMHC website.
Our newsroom is home to the wide variety of business stories coming out of the meeting, includingupdates from our latest committee meetings.
Most presentations from both the Apartment Strategies Conference and Annual
Meeting are also available for download.
Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you next January 24-26 in San Diego for the 2017 NMHC Annual Meeting.