Starwood Capital Group CEO Barry Sternlicht sees investment opportunities in residential land now.
“If you pick your spots and really do your work, look micro by ZIP code, you can find interesting things to do in the property market now,” Sternlicht says.
“Every 20 years, there’s a great point of entry into the property markets,” Sternlicht told Bloomberg.
“We think that because rates are low, you’re buying stuff at replacement cost and the U.S. economy is growing and the population is growing, that growth will bail you out.”
Sternlicht says that hard as it was to invest in global markets in 2006 through early 2008 — “there was all risk and no reward and prices were crazy” — his firm was very busy in 2009.
“We invested more money in 2009 than in three years combined,” he notes. “That’s continued into this year.”
Because the Obama administration has focused almost exclusively on helping large banks, smaller funds such as Starwood have had a tougher time, Sternlicht says.
“The government has not made any programs available for small businesses, and they are starving for capital,” he says.
“It has not exactly been a level playing field.”
Commercial real estate is expected to remain a drag on the U.S. economy through 2010 and beyond.
"You do see stress in the market,” Jamie Woodwell, vice president of commercial real estate research for the Mortgage Bankers Association told The Miami Herald.
“We've seen delinquency rates increasing; we've seen by a whole variety of measures increased stress in the commercial real estate market.”
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