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NEW YORK CITY-If you had to choose one milestone over the past 60 years that contributed to the state and structure of the industry today, what would it be? Some 455 industry professionals from a variety of disciplines took part recently in a survey conducted by Real Estate Forum, and 96% ranked the rise of REITs as very important or important to the industry’s progress.

But REITs did not stand alone, and running a close second was the growth of suburban sprawl (ranked as very important by 92%) and the creation of the interstate highway system (91%). As one respondent told senior editor Maria Wood, “The interstate highway system has driven suburban sprawl as well as our way of looking at distribution, retailing and residential development.”

The survey, which was done as part of Real Estate Forum.‘s 60th anniversary issue, currently in distribution, covered a wide range of topics, including opinions on what markets, property sectors and demand drivers will guide the industry over the course of the next decade. In terms of geography, China led the poll, garnering more than 40% of the vote. India and New York City took the number two and three positions, with 22% and 10.2% of the vote, respectively.

But China’s hot-market prominence doesn’t preclude problems, as one respondent explained to Wood: “Certainly, China and India’s growth will be substantial, but the lack of certain natural resources will place restrictions or limits” on potential. That, of course, comes in addition to the man-made restrictions currently being placed on foreign investment in China.

For the complete survey results as well as a look at the pioneering deals of our industry and a foreshadowing look at tomorrow’s industry leaders, see the September issue of Real Estate Forum. Forum and GlobeSt.com are both products of Real Estate Media.

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