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SAN DIEGO-The recurring theme at yesterday’s RealShare San Diego conference called for patience amid the current market cycle. With real estate prices remaining high and few inefficiencies and value-add opportunities locally, area investors are looking outside the region for property to sink their capital war chests into.

As Troy Simmons, regional vice president of Spectrus Realty said during the “Who’s Buying, Who’s Selling and Why in San Diego?” panel, if you’re a long-term holder like the Irvine Co., it can make sense to buy right now and hold; it does not pencil as easily, he added, if you’re looking for a value-add play with a flip after a few years’ hold.

“I heard someone at the ["Debt & Equity Capital Markets" panel] say ‘you should buy in SoCal and keep in SoCal because it will always appreciate.’ While that may be true, what if your client is 80?” Simmons asked, adding that not every investor wants a buy and hold model, particularly in the TIC world, where Simmons resides.

In the most crowd-pleasing segment of the day, RealShare offered its spin on “Pardon the Interruption”, the popular ESPN series. The conference version featured Stath Karras of Burnham Real Estate and Mark Read of CB Richard Ellis squaring off in a rapid-fire Q&A session.

When asked whether the market had peaked, Karras responded with a definitive no. “Both the national market and San Diego will have a positively sloped growth curve. We will have cycles. However, there will be growth as long as we maintain ourselves as an innovation leader.” Karras added that San Diego will be a growth city due to its diverse employment and quality of life.

Read had a different spin regarding a potential market peak. He said leasing activity had peaked, investment sales had not and financing might have. “The first quarter was terrific [for financing]” but the market has changed rapidly in the last 60 days or so. “ The underwriting is really tightening,” Read said.

Other highlights of the conference included a keynote address by Jim Waring, director of Land Use & Economic Development for the City of San Diego; a discussion with local corporate real estate executives from Intuit and Qualcomm; an info session regarding the California-Mexico border area of Otay Mesa; and a Town Hall Meeting featuring CCDC president and COO Nancy Graham.

According to RealShare officials, the half-day event brought together nearly 300 industry professionals. The conference was held at the Marriott Del Mar.

RealShare San Diego, along with other RealShare Conference events nationwide, is produced by Real Estate Media, publishers of GlobeSt.com, Real Estate Forum, Real Estate Southern California and other print and online publications devoted to commercial real estate.

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