Welcome to the 2008 Global Real Estate Summit

By Reuters Staff
June 20, 2008

If global real estate was at a turning point in mid-2007 after a golden era of sizzling returns and unprecedented cross-border investment, the big question at this year’s Global Real Estate Summit is how far will markets fall? 
 
Top industry executives will visit Thomson Reuters offices in London, New York, Moscow, Singapore, and Dubai on June 23-25 to discuss this and related topics.
 
Will real estate — with its dependence on debt funding — see out the credit crunch? Or will some property firms have to restructure, or even go under, unleashing a wave of forced selling? 
 
To what extent will weaker consumer spending, jobs cuts, and slower economic growth make things worse by squeezing tenant demand for retail, office, and industrial properties and hitting rents? Will markets that have so far escaped the downturn be dragged down along with the UK, where property values are 17 percent below peak levels? 
 
How much bigger can the discounts to NAV get on US, Asian, and European REITs, and when might property derivatives signal an end to the general malaise? 
 
Most importantly, will debt markets recover, enabling property investors to refinance their assets or cut deals at a time when transaction volumes have slumped? To what extent in the interim will sovereign wealth funds and other cash-rich players, as well as distressed debt buyers and mezzanine finance providers, help to plug the gap?
 
These topics, and many more, will be under the microscope as the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit gets underway. 

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It was a great event. Had a blast with the people I met, and got to have dinner with. Hahaha, when the first speaker slipped off the stage, I nearly died of laughter. I knew it was going to be a great time from that moment, and I was disappointed! Until next year!!