For more on the financial crisis, check outGlobeSt.com's Webinar, "Wall Street In a Freefall—TheWinners and Losers."

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CHICAGO-A recent report by law firm DLA Piper, based here, showsthat most real estate executives now rank the current credit crisisas the most impactful event in the industry in two decades. Thesurvey has also shown the executives do not expect stability toreturn to the real estate market until at least 2010, withsecuritized lending not returning to previous levels until at least2011, if ever. The report surveyed 424 real estate executives inAugust, and is being released in conjunction with DLA Piper's 2008Global Real Estate Summit, to be held in Chicago Tuesday.

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"One of the biggest things is an acknowledgement and analysis ofwhat the projection of the feeling of the time period for recoveryis, and when we're going to get back to stabilized markettransactions picking up to a better pace than the last 12 months,"Jay Epstien, chairman of the company's US real estate practice,tells GlobeSt.com. "If you monitor how people have talked about theperiod of recovery in the last 12 months since the start of thecredit crisis, each time you measured it people have had adifferent view. It's pretty striking that now the overwhelmingmajority of answers have leapfrogged over 2009."

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Given the developments involving Lehman Brothers, AIG andMerrill Lynch in the past two weeks, the firm conducted a follow-upsurvey last week. In light of recent events, about 60% said theynow see the current credit crisis as the event in the past 20 yearswhich has had the largest effect on the real estate market, Epstiensays. Only weeks before, 60% of respondents ranked the savings andloan crisis of the late 1980s and early '90s as most impactful,with the current credit crisis ranked second.

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"It's not surprising that a lot of people now say it's thecredit crisis, even though I think it's more of a reactive responseto what's happening out there," Epstien tells GlobeSt.com. "Themajor difference between the savings and loan crisis and today isthat in the S&L crisis, real estate was the principal driver ofwhat was going on. Today, the principal driver is credit, or lackthereof on the finance side, and it's not limited to real estate.Real estate is only one of the asset classes affected. It'saffecting every asset class, and that's very different."

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Epstien says 62% of respondents, many of whom previously saidthey believed markets would have already recovered, now said theybelieve it will take at least another two years to reach stability."Ultimately, what has to happen for the markets to come back tosome sense of equilibrium is the bid-and-ask prices on assets haveto get more in-line, or close enough together, that sellers whocontrol assets are willing to take the loss and sell at whatevernumber the buyers are willing to pay," Epstien says. "Until then,we stay in this situation of a semi-freeze." He says in order formarkets to come back, credit will also have to be made more readilyavailable.

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Respondents reflected this belief, citing financing andavailability of credit and debt as the main concerns movingforward. About 90% of those surveyed described their 12-monthoutlook on the US commercial real estate market as bearish, with71% of those respondents citing the fallout from the credit crisis,including unfavorable financing terms and lack of available debt,as reason for lack of confidence. The other 10% of surveyparticipants described their market outlook as bullish, with 50% ofthose individuals attributing confidence to investmentopportunities being created by the market correction/creditcrunch.

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"We didn't expect the bullish/bearish split would be reversed,"Epstien says. "We were a bit surprised we only got a 10% bullishresponse. We might have thought that more people would have said,'I see opportunity in the marketplace created by this dislocation.'Real estate has always had an entrepreneurial group of people thathas always found ways to make value. It is a fine curve and it goesup and down."

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