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RICHMOND, VA-Despite the lackluster economy, the future for commercial real estate is looking good, according to a presentation given at VCU Real Estate Trends’ 13th annual conference. At the gathering of research analysts, forecasters, and other big-name industry participants held here this week, Real Estate Research Corp. CEO Ken Riggs presented a hopeful investment outlook for the industry in 2004 and beyond.

“It is a complex time with the bond market, stock market and the economy, but real estate is much more resilient than most observers anticipate,” Riggs explains to GlobeSt.com. “It is more resilient than expected because of the cyclical factor; for the short-term, we’re holding up pretty well. For the long-term, the prognosis is that real estate has a long road–after cyclical changes–to recovery.” Real estate recovery, he adds, usually lags economic recovery by six to 12 months.

Riggs says the office market will have the toughest time. Jobs, which have dwindled across the country, need to be created to fill up the office vacancies. On the other hand, the retail real estate sector has held up very well. “What you won’t see like in past recessions is the effect of consumer hiatus,” he explains. “Consumer activity will continue to be strong.”

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