SAN FRANCISCO—In preparation for next week’s RealShare Bay Area conference, caught up with a few more panelists to get their thoughts on the local market and what they will be discussing at the upcoming event. Panelist Alan Walker, VP of Swift Real Estate Partners, tells that “Macro-wise, the domestic economy continues to trudge along. I liken it to being halfway through a marathon—it may not feel great and you’re still a ways from your goal, but you are making forward progress.”

Walker tells that it’s no secret that tech and the related hiring is driving the growth in office occupancy, rents, and sales prices in certain markets. “The business plans for internet and mobile start-ups today are generally and measurably better than they were in 1999-2000 but that still doesn’t mean they are all outstanding,” he says. “As real estate professionals, we are not technology experts but we can see how these groups are behaving vis-a-vis leasing space and long-term planning and they seem to be much more thoughtful about it than during the dot com era.”

In these growth markets, Walker adds, it is competitive to buy—whether it’s big, medium, or small sized deals. “Not every market has recovered equally—there are still ‘have and have-not’ markets—but the lines are starting to blur a bit.”

Over on the infrastructure and affordability front, we chatted with panelist Mary Erchul, president of ACEC California, who tells that “When we talk about an estimated $765 billion needed infrastructure investment over the next 10 years it isn’t just about goods movement or connecting people to their jobs—it is about making the Bay Area more affordable.”

According to Erchul, “Updating CEQA is probably the single most effective thing we can do as a state to address land use challenges and deliver much needed infrastructure on time and within budget.”

Don’t forget to sign up for the September 4th event. Also, take a look at some other event preview articles below.

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Market Driven In Heated Way