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NEW YORK CITY-Ernst & Young and Globest.com recently polled clients and subscribers to take their pulse on a number of significant real estate issues now in play. Of the more than 2,300 global real estate executives that responded, the results show that there will be more pain ahead, and that industry professionals across the board are going to feel it. The majority of respondents–70%–believe that although credit markets will begin to emerge during 2009, the implication is that the process of restoration will take months longer.

Almost 40% of the survey’s respondents are owners, operators or developers of real estate; 12% are capital providers such as banks, credit companies, pension, private equity and sovereign wealth funds; 2% are real estate occupiers such as retailers, corporations or government agencies and 47% are service providers such as real estate brokers, management companies and consultants.

John Salustri, editorial director of the Incisive Media real estate group, says that “market participants are defining new opportunities. The survey shows that values are going to decline–by as much as 10% more, according to the most popular response. And our respondents are defining themselves as net buyers to take advantage of fire-sale prices of commercial real estate. It is activity based in the current turmoil, but it is activity, and it will get capital moving.”

Howard Roth, director of the global real estate center at Ernst & Young, says that approximately 73% of respondents describing themselves as investors are in the market for deals today or will be in the first half of 2009–with the rest following later. Roth says that 85% of respondents expect commercial real estate values to decrease over the next year and almost a third of those respondents thought values would decline 20% or more over the next 12 months. Just more than 46% of those describing themselves as commercial lenders plan to make loans available to real estate borrowers in 2009, Roth says. Almost 50% of the respondents indicated they plan on bidding for the government-owned assets, including securities, whole loans and properties.

Roth says that the bottom line, assuming the real estate credit flow improves, “is that we’re nearing the end of a declining cycle, that there are sellers that are willing to sell at further discounted price levels, and that there are active investors in the marketplace, this will help to facilitate movement of assets, a necessary precondition to getting the market back on track.”

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