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Comments by:Woody Heller Executive Managing DirectorStudleyNew York, NY

It’s really an economy question, when you think of it, and with talk increasing about an ’07 downturn, the question remains if torrents of change will blow by us or if we will be left whistling in the wind. Woody Heller is as optimistic as the respondents to last week’s GlobeSt.com Feedback Poll, who bet three to one that they would be more successful next year. Here’s his reasoning. Whistling in the wind? You decide:

“I will be more successful, for sure. But let’s look at it in terms of sectors.

“No one anticipates that the residential sector will be as successful in ’07. Next year will be an important transition year for the residential marketplace, because it will represent the beginning of a period of gestation during which projects slated for development will be reconsidered, projects that are under way or recently completed will start to be absorbed and, as a result of both of those factors, a new tempo will be established. That will lead to a healthier and more balanced market in the next few years.

“With respect to the office-leasing market, while there are undertones of concern regarding future demand due to changes in the economic condition, my sense is that ’07 will be as successful as ’06 and that whatever modest adjustments New York experiences will not begin until the end of the year at the earliest.

“With respect to the sales market, two elements will determine its fate. Given the fact that the residential market is less in favor than it was before, more of the investment capital is geared toward office product. But, while office valuations will be as strong or stronger next year, the volume of residential activity will decrease and overall sales volume will not be as high. Residential will weigh down the whole.”

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