The Urban Land Institute held its annual "Emerging Trends in Real Estate" event this morning in downtown Raleigh.
This is the 32nd edition of ULI's Emerging Trends report, which is based on interviews with 875 professionals in the real estate community as well as changes in the major financial sectors.
The report declares that real estate markets in 2011 are entering something called "The Era of Less," that will be characterized by -- you guessed it -- less returns, less credit, less demand for space and, in general, a shrunken real estate industry.
While this Era of Less may not seem like much, it actually is an improvement over what Emerging Trends and other real estate prognosticators have been saying in recent years.
Stephen Blank, the ULI Senior Resident Fellow of Finance, presented the 2011 report during this morning's event held at the Fletcher Opera Theater in the Progress Center for the Performing Arts.
He said the market should come off the bottom a bit in 2011, which the biggest beneficiaries being gateway cities like Washington D.C. and New York City and asset classes such as multi-family apartments.
The Triangle, it was noted several times this morning, is now on the radar screen of many institutional investors and has the type of knowledge-based jobs that are seen as a key component of the country's economic recovery.
Among the clouds hanging over the real estate market: $1.5 trillion in loans that will need to be refinanced over the next five years.
Blank always highlights some choice quotes from ULI's interviews.