ATLANTA-By definition, a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. But try telling the real estate industry–and consumers. Definition or not, the majority of the 250 industry insiders at RealShare Atlanta agreed that the R word is heard more and more around the water cooler.

“One of the positive things about the credit crunch is we got more educated on the economics. It’s now common knowledge that two consecutive quarters of negative GDP is a recession,” said John Leonard, vice president, regional manager at Marcus & Millichap. “Are we going to see that? I’m not sure but obviously we are in a slowdown.” He added that we’ll probably see at least one quarter of negative GDP, impacting office, industrial and retail.

A time out is how Todd Yates, senior vice president of the Alter Group, described the current market. “I think we are in a time out. The game hasn’t been going real well. Nobody is really sure what to do. We’re not ready to throw in the towel and say the game is over,” he explained. “We hope when the time out is over things will be back like they used to be.” He added that among the negative signs are positive one as well, but the biggest thing right now is the uncertainty.

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