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NEW YORK CITY-Encouraged by the improved availability of debt and hungry for core assets, investors nonetheless now wonder whether a gradual recovery represents the new normal. So says PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Susan Smith, director of the firm’s real estate advisory practice and editor-in-chief of the quarterly Korpacz Real Estate Survey released Thursday. “It’s even more cemented in their minds this quarter that from an economic and fundamentals standpoint, across all geographies and property sectors, recovery will be painfully slow,” she tells GlobeSt.com.

The upshot of this slow pace, as investors see it, is that “we may be in a new type of operating environment,” Smith says. “A couple of respondents said they’re just trying to figure out how to survive and operate in this new atmosphere. It’s going to be this way for a long time. We may never go back to the kind of pricing and availability of debt we had” at the market’s 2006-2007 peak.

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