“Where are we in the cycle,” has become the staple question at every real estate conference, and as we move later in this cycle, the question has only become more prevalent. Hessam Nadji’s advice at RealShare Apartments this week: Don’t try to time the cycle. Instead, focus on buying the right asset and implementing quality underwriting standards. Nadji, president and CEO of Marcus & Millichap, spoke as the keynote speaker on the second day of the conference in Los Angeles.

“The picture doesn’t look all that bad,” said Nadji in the opening of his speech, as he gave a snapshot of the current market. In the last decade, there has been population growth, the formation of new households and the lowest unemployment in 50 years. While GDP growth has been slow and steady this cycle, since 2007, it has equaled the size of Japan’s entire economy. Overall, we are in a high growth low inflation economy. The future prospects are also positive, namely the demographic trends. While we have an aging population—like much of the world—with 10,000 people every day turning 65, we also have 12,000 people a day turning 21. This dual demographic wave, Nadji said, is a huge opportunity, especially in the multifamily market.

Specifically, these changes in demographics might be a reason to look at suburban opportunities or opportunities outside of the urban core. There is a lot of focus on the millennial demographic and the move to urban cores, but Nadji said that a lot of that change has already happened. As millennials move into the next phase of their lives—Nadji pointed out that they will soon move into the 35 to 55 demographic—they are returning to suburban or urban-adjacent markets, and investors should follow.

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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 GlobeSt.com 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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