Happy New Year – 09.07.2010The day after Labor Day is, in many respects, the beginning of the new business year. This year, 2010 is winding-down and approaching the history books, and businesses are now beginning to focus on 2011. The past year has been marked by a great deal of frustration; low-to-no deal flow on the real estate front, erratic economic news and a skittish stock market, anemic consumer confidence, a ballooning Federal deficit, and more of the same from the Washington crowd. With this as a backdrop, I offer my predictions on the New Year. First, expect the Democrats to get trounced in November and the Republicans will regain the House. I favor a balance of power, so that will be a good thing. Second, across the board, industry will report strong earnings, and the consumer will regain confidence and begin to spend. Third, real estate transactional activity will explode. Banks will aggressively disgorge REO and non-performing loans setting the stage for broader trading activity as buyers and sellers recognize the new norm and get down to business as usual. Finally, renewed activity and confidence will fuel hiring activity at all professional levels. This should turn out to be a very good year.

Tony LoPinto is a senior client partner and head of Korn//Ferry International’s Real Estate Practice and founder of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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