Jonathan D. Gray, Global Head of Real Estate for Blackstone, expressed optimism for the future of the real estate market at The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Holiday Luncheon on Tuesday, December 17 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
The annual event was organized by the REBNY Commercial Brokerage Division and sponsored by Tishman Speyer, The New York Times and Cushman & Wakefield.
On the US real estate market, Gray explained that home prices in distressed markets are back to 2003-2004 levels, but the country still has a long way to go in housing recovery.
However, the incredible lack of new supply and need for homes has provided the opportunity for investment which has been a driving factor for Blackstone and their purchase of 42,000 homes nationally for renovation. In looking to the future, he noted that the long-term priorities for the US should be: getting the fiscal situation under control, making a greater investment in infrastructure and transportation, and improving immigration policy.
His optimism also extended to New York City’s real estate market, despite the continued constrain on supply. He remains bullish on Brooklyn, the area around Bryant Park, and street retail. On the global market, Gray expressed a sober view of Europe, a bullish view on China and its long-term future, and greater interest in the emerging markets, which include Brazil, Turkey and India. He predicted that the market will continue to see sovereign wealth funds as dominant investors in the global marketplace.
Photos by Ossie Shemtov
Gray closed his address reinforcing a positive outlook overall for economic growth and the future of the real estate market for 2014.