Predicting the exact trajectory of the cycle is one of the great pastimes of the commercial real estate industry, and while it is important to track the national economic cycle and patterns, each market is also running on its own cycle. Phoenix was impacted substantially by the recession—one of the most troubled markets in the country—but it is now in full recovery. As a result, while other markets are coming to the peak of the cycle, Phoenix still has a lone runway ahead.

“The Arizona market has more runway than any other West Coast market, other than Sacramento and Oakland. We took it on the chin during the recession, perhaps as badly as any market did, and our recovery has been exceptional since then,” Dennis Desmond, senior managing director at JLL, tells “Today, our economy is much broader based today than it was prior to the recession; our housing industry is more sustainable today than it was prior to the recession; our new construction of office product is more sustainable today that it was prior to the recession.”

This economic diversity is important to Phoenix’s recovery. It is not only driving growth and creating a longer runway ahead, but it is also strengthening the economy to withstand a future downturn better than in 2008. Today, Phoenix is a much different market than is was a decade ago. “The base of our economy is much broader than it was in 2007, and when the next recession comes, I think that we will be in a much better position to weather that storm,” says Desmond. “It might be a flattening rather than the huge dip that we took in the last great recession.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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