CHICAGO—DLA Piper just released its “State of the Market Survey” at its 12th Global Real Estate Summit in Chicago this week, and of the commercial real estate executives surveyed, 89% were “bullish” on the prospects for the US economy. This was slightly higher than last year, when 85% responded optimistically, and even higher than in 2007, when 77% did so. Typically, respondents stated that their good feelings came from the massive amount of capital now available for investment or simply that the economy has strong fundamentals.

Those views resonated with panelists at one of the morning sessions at the conference, titled “Risks and Rewards of Real Estate and the Public Markets.” Lauralee E. Martin, the president and chief executive officer of the California-based HCP, Inc., a $30 billion healthcare REIT, said “there is so much capital driving value.” Furthermore, “the underlying fundamentals of the US economy are getting better every day.” She does not discount the possibility of a downturn, but HCP’s focus on healthcare, an asset class that retained a good deal of its health even during the recession, gives her and her colleagues even greater confidence. Their strategy is to “remain bullish on our business and bullish on the economy, but be prepared for whatever comes along.”

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