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NEW YORK CITY-There may be talk of an economic slowdown or even a recession, but the thinking among most real estate investors is that times are good and will likely stay that way. That is the conclusion of the Fourth Quarter Korpacz Real Estate Investor Survey carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Rents may not be escalating like they have been, one respondent noted, but the returns are still good.

Although they are generally optimistic, investors have different strategies on where to put their money in the months ahead. Some will continue to acquire class A buildings in the top markets, while others will shift from investing in suburban office space to apartment buildings, the survey reports.

The boost in stock prices of REITs is expected to make them more active in the market next year, especially firms involved with office and industrial properties. Some REITs are even considering buying and developing buildings overseas despite the risks such ventures pose.

Recent increases in interest rates may have had an impact on the stock market, but they have been of little concern to the real estate community. Higher rates may have cut back construction in some suburban markets, but they have not deterred all-cash buyers of real estate such as pension funds and insurance companies.

There are dark clouds on the horizon, however. For example, some worry that that corporate downsizing, mergers, consolidations and, in particular, the redirection of international capital to investments outside the US might spark a downturn.

The report is available for $95 ($75 for the electronic version) at http://www.pwcreval.com.

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