After predicting an uptick in U.S. economic growth and interest rates six months ago, real estate economists have tempered their forecasts, moving closer to the predictions of one year ago. While the April 2017 optimism could be attributed to proposals to reform the tax code, reduce regulatory burdens, and invest in infrastructure, little progress has been made on tax reform and infrastructure and the economy seems to be back to business as usual after the global financial crisis.
As a result, real estate economists now have lower expectations about economic growth, employment growth, and interest rates than they had in the spring. Key real estate metrics, such as NCREIF Property Index (NPI) returns and transaction volumes, which showed little change six months ago, have moved slightly lower in this survey. While expectations have moderated, forecasters predict that the current expansion is poised to set an all-time longevity record and real estate will clearly benefit.
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