Wednesday, March 30, 2011

McBurney Disability Resource Center dedicated at UW-Madison

UW-Madison News announced yesterday that the McBurney Disability Resource Center, which advocates for and assists students, families and the UW-Madison campus community in navigating the academic challenges and practical concerns faced by people with disabilities, will dedicate its new space at 702 W. Johnson St. in a ceremony next Wednesday April 6.

Roberta "Bobbi" Cordano ('90 JD LAW), vice president of programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, and Greg Rice ('77 BBA BUS), CEO and managing partner of Executive Management Inc., will speak as part of the dedication ceremony.

Rice is a former student of James Graaskamp, whose lessons and high expectations guided him as project developer on the McBurney Center.

According to the announcement, the new location offers new opportunities and benefits including a conference room dedicated to Professor James Graaskamp, a legendary figure in the history of real estate education and research at UW-Madison and who promoted the creation of the Center and its dedication to Michael McBurney ('60 BA, '63 JD). The James Graaskamp Conference Room seats up to 20 guests and has enhanced audio/visual capabilities for accessible training and event hosting.

James Graaskamp, paralyzed as a result of polio as a teen, was a passionate teacher known for his devotion to students and intellectual oratory. Stephen Malpezzi, professor of real estate and urban land economics, relates in his paper "The Wisconsin Program in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics: A Century of Tradition and Innovation" that "while Graaskamp made few concessions to his medical problems in his personal and professional life, he was active in improving the quality of life for others facing such difficulties."

The James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate in the School of Business was dedicated in 2007. The Graaskamp Center's main goal has been to serve as a link between real estate faculty and students, alumni, the real estate professional community, governmental agencies and the general public, and to administer the Wisconsin MBA program in Real Estate. The Graaskamp Center was proud to share a portrait of Graaskamp, commissioned for the 2007 naming ceremony, to be displayed in the McBurney Center's new conference room.

"Ceremony to dedicate new McBurney Disability Resource Center at UW-Madison," UW-Madison News, March 29, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Join us for the 2011 Global Real Estate Markets Conference in New York on May 2nd

The Real Estate Program at the Wisconsin School of Business and Toll Brothers are proud to bring together top developers, investors, and service providers who are in the game and on the ground in emerging markets and beyond to discuss the keys to implementing a strong cross-border real estate investment strategy.

Event: 2011 Global Real Estate Markets Conference: Opportunities and Realities
Date: May 2, 2011
Time: 9:30 am-3:30 pm

Location: New York Stock Exchange

The agenda features keynote presentations from
Richard Cantor, Chief Risk Officer at Moody’s, and
Olivier Piani, Chairman and CEO of Allianz Real Estate.

Panel discussions on:

Real Estate Roaring? The View from Emerging Markets
Hear directly from the developers of real estate investment opportunities in emerging markets.

Foreign Capital Flows into the U.S. and U.S. Capital Goes Abroad
Learn from experience with panelists who are driving cross-border investments across multiple platforms.

Building a Global Real Estate Platform
Listen to the managers of global investment platforms and their service providers.

Registration is now open. Space is limited. For the full agenda and registration information, please visit the conference website at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Home-Price Outlook for the Year

The Wall Street Journal today published the results of a survey of economists and housing analysts conducted earlier this month by MacroMarkets. Among those surveyed was Abdullah Yavas, professor of real estate and urban land economics at the Wisconsin School of Business.

The quarterly survey shows how attitudes for a housing recovery have soured: Last June, economists expected prices would gain by 1.3% this year. “The sentiment among our expert panel regarding the U.S. housing market outlook continues to deteriorate,” said Robert Shiller, the Yale University housing economist who co-founded MacroMarkets.

Around one-third of panelists expect home prices to increase in 2011. Bill Cheney, chief economist of John Hancock Financial, and Abdullah Yavas, and professor of real estate at the University of Wisconsin, are calling for a 3% annual gain.

"No Home-Price Recovery This Year," WSJ, 3/22/11

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Final wrap-up from MIPIM 2011

Professor François Ortalo-Magné, chair of the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics at the Wisconsin School of Business, delivered a wrap-up keynote presentation at MIPIM last week with Philippe Tannenbaum, senior analyst at IEIF (France).

For more coverage from MIPIM 2011, keep reading the Viewpoint and visit MIPIM World.

Friday, March 11, 2011

MIPIM 2011 – Wrap-up keynote address

MIPIM World, the official website featuring content from this year's MIPIM conference, posted video of today's keynote presentation by Prof. François Ortalo-Magné, Robert E. Wangard Chair in Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business, and Philippe Tannenbaum, Senior Advisor with IEIF France. Click to visit the MIPIM website and watch the video and view the slides from the presentation.

And please check out the rest of our coverage of MIPIM 2011 here on the Viewpoint and at MIPIM World.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meaningful response to the global housing shortage

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 3: "Participating in a Meaningful Response to the Global Housing Shortage."

We hear quite a bit these days about the moribund recovery in the U.S. housing market. There is often talk of oversupply and lack of demand for houses on the market. Yet globally, there is immense demand for even the most basic of housing. Global Housing Foundation (GHF) is a U.N. partner working to fill this need for basic housing around the world. Today at MIPIM, GHF sponsored a panel of industry players who are currently developing in markets that are perhaps a bit beyond the eye of the average institutional investor.

The biggest challenges to addressing the need better housing around the world, however, are lack of capital and the unwillingness of large capital sources to get involved in the markets where need is greatest. Some of that is due to issues around getting clean title to land (which is a dealbreaker), but oftentimes it is a simple belief that projects won't be successful. But it can be done, by building communities not just houses. And even though residents are poor, creating product that improves their lives that gets residents investing for the future.

Our coverage of MIPIM wraps up tomorrow with the "wrap-up keynote" presentation by Prof. François Ortalo-Magné and Philippe Tannebaum with IEIF on Friday.

Target: Turkey

Reporting from MIPIM 2011, Day 3:

Turkey, with the world's 15th largest economy and 17th largest population, occupies a position centrally-located not only at the door of the EU, but also between North Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Turkey boasts strong banking sector and pre-crisis fiscal performance and is forecasted to be Europe’s largest population and the the world's 9th largest economy by 2050.

Turkey’s economic conditions are favorable. CPI is currently down to 4% and is continuing to fall. Its GDP is rising and should continue to rise. Average annual real GDP growth projections are the highest of all OECD countries despite an inflation rate six-plus percent. All of which make Turkey currently the 15th most attractive FDI location.

How to make resort hotels profitable?

Reporting from MIPIM 2011: How to make resort hotels profitable?

Typically resort hotels require a higher investment per room than city hotels because of the expectations that come with resorts. For instance, resort hotels are expected to have larger rooms to accommodate for longer stays. Additionally, resorts are expected to provide a more vacation friendly setting. Resorts also require an increased investment in restaurants, spas and other amenities because of their remote locations.

One way in which hotel developers are working to increase profits is by developing resorts that are both vacation and business friendly. By accommodating business travelers and vacationers, resorts are able to increase their profits during the off-peak days of the year. In order to attract the business traveler, resort developers look to provide spaces that can function as both event and conference facilities. The transition to combine business amenities with resort amenities has seen success in some markets. However, it is important to note that this strategy can not be utilized in markets that have little business interaction in the surrounding areas. Golf, spa services, and the attraction of sporting events can also be key drivers of profits during the off-peak season.

Video via MIPIM World. For more, visit the official conference blog at

Emerging trends: signs of cautious optimism

Reporting from MIPIM 2011, "Real Estate Roulette: Winners & Losers: Emerging Trends 2011"

Adapting to the European market, which is facing challenges in the sovereign debt crisis, regulations and a weak lending market, is a challenge in itself. More equity is expected to flow in 2011. However, the substantial undersupply of debt is expected to continue through 2011 and be worse than previous years, making refinancing more difficult. But still, after a very gloomy prognosis for 2009, 2010 showed signs of cautious optimism. Core investment will remain king. More concerns are about the transparency, regulations and the real economy growth from investors.

More coverage of the sessions at MIPIM on the Viewpoint.

So where will investment take place in the U.S. in 2011?

Reporting from MIPIM Day 3:

After watching the U.S. property markets collapse following the financial crisis and negative returns continue into 2010, optimism was surprisingly high in the panel "US Property Markets: Where are the Opportunities?" NAREIM President Stephen Renna led the panel of investment managers to try to answer to the question Where will investment take place in 2011?

The short answer was multifamily properties in core markets. These markets, including Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area of California, all command premium rents, have strong employment growth, and high populations of the younger demographic with a higher propensity to rent.

Read the rest of our coverage of the sessions at MIPIM on the Viewpoint. Visit our partner the official MIPIM World blog for video and other exclusive content from Wisconsin.

Distressed or distressing investments? MIPIM 2011

Reporting from MIPIM 2011:

Distressed or distressing is the question in investing these days. However, the market's worst fears of massive default did not come true. And the bulk of distressed assets have appreciated enough during the recovery of the last twelve months to remove themselves from the distressed category before any workouts were required. The optimistic view is that the worst is over.

But while things appear better to those in the know, the public at large still does not know where many banks' balance sheets stand. Further, it is very possible that there are more faltering property owners who are trying to keep their status under wraps. The lack of transparency is an impediment in determining whether we are truly in the clear yet.

Roubini on the recovery: the glass is half full AND half empty

The outlook on the global economic recovery is mixed, best described as a glass half full and half empty, at the same time, says Dr. Nouriel Roubini is his keynote address on Thursday at MIPIM.

Here are the pluses, the strong and important factors driving optimism today: Not only have we seen positive growth but accelerated positive growth in the last few months. Risks of default in euro zone and double-dip recession are decreasing. The balance sheets of high-grade companies in the US and Western Europe are strong.

But there are minuses, too, macro uncertainties driving pessimism: mid-east turmoil and its effects on oil prices; problems from public debt and foreign liabilities in the private sector; and significant problems in the U.S. including high unemployment and modest job growth, risk of a double dip in the housing sector, and significant deficits at the state and local levels.

After this and three days of meeting and greeting and listening and learning, how are you feeling about the global recovery? Is your glass half-full or half-empty?

Our coverage of the rest of Thursday's sessions at MIPIM will continue. Plus we'll have the wrap-up keynote presentation by Prof. François Ortalo-Magné on Friday.

Healthcare sector is healthy

Reporting from MIPIM 2011:

Even during the economic recovery, healthcare is one sector that continues to grow. Currently 10% of worldwide GDP, second only to housing, it attracts investors with aging demographics, long lease terms with owner-operators, and high cash returns. Investments in the sector have been equated to government bonds because governments in Europe pay the bulk of health care bills. However, this could represent a major concern as debt levels and budget deficits rise around the world, health care spending may be put, at least in part, to the wayside.

Building a standard for measuring sustainability

Reporting from MIPIM, "Common causes, common measures:"

Countries around the world have varying standards for measuring sustainability, from LEED in the United States to BREEAM in Europe. Further, governments are instituting laws designed to force investors and developers into incorporating energy saving measures. Forces which are combining to demonstrate the clear need for a common standard of "sustainability" for commercial properties. The lack of coordination in the industry across the world is greatly reducing transparency; it is nearly impossible to compile statistics for energy savings achieved across the world due the implementation of these programs because the standards vary so widely.

Photo courtesy of Reed Midem.

Rocky and rolling recovery at MIPIM 2011

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 2:

Recovery from the global financial crisis took hold in early March 2009, when US central bank told the world that they will make sure the financial market would not crash, said economists on Wednesday's keynote panel on economics and the road map to the future.

Interest rates are as low as the can go, and inflation also quite low, meaning that real rates are very low. The natural course of events is a very strong economic upswing that will grow in strength over time (though not stronger than 2010). But increases in interest rates and oil prices are needed in order to slow down the now rapid economic expansion in the westerns world.

Real estate will benefit from the recovery because real estate is generally highly correlated to the broader economy. But real estate investors are still nervous. Real estate was an attractive asset class in the years leading up to the crash, and it still is really, notwithstanding the full impact of Solvency II which remains to be seen.

The sleeping tiger is massive government debt that will have to be addressed with higher taxes and lower spending which have a particularly negative affect on the recovery, already on a "rocky road."

We'll have more from Day 3 at MIPIM a little later today here on the Viewpoint and on Twitter @UW_GraaskampCtr.

Stay connected with the Wisconsin Real Estate Program, long after MIPIM, by connecting with us on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Icons are made not built, at MIPIM 2011

More from MIPIM 2011 Day 2:

Real estate developers and architects may not always be the happiest of bedfellows, but the architects' keynote panel at MIPIM is always a highlight, providing a jolt of starpower.

This year's focus was on "Iconic Architecture for the 21st Century." Icons exist, but they are not built--and shouldn’t be designed with the idea of being an icon in mind. Icons are created over time. And icons are needed to create connections between people on a fundamental, emotional level. If a building can connect with people, than people can create stories about that city, place, and time. So it is people who create icons, not architects. But an architect who is open to the needs of a space for interactivity can create possibilities, the places where people can connect with one another. Ultimately it is the people who come to "own" these spaces.

Ancient architecture are easy iconic examples, but what about modern icons? What contemporary spaces do you think have reached iconic status? Share your examples in the comments below.

And check out the rest of our coverage from MIPIM on the Wisconsin Real Estate Viewpoint and the official MIPIM World blog for video and other exclusive content.

How to invest in Latin America

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 2:

Latin America's strong historical growth has long attracted investors. But its favorable climate has been the real fuel for growth through tourism in resort areas such as Acapulco, Panama City, and Punta del Este. For investors interested in sustainability, Latin America, while sometimes "idiosyncratic," is making great strides forward. Efficiency is gaining a great deal of momentum and countries are looking at innovative ways to mix buildings and nature.

Innovating to regeneration in the UK

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 2:

Following on yesterday's keynote address by London Mayor Boris Johnson, a panel of UK government leaders gathered at MIPIM today to further discuss regeneration efforts in the UK. With the austerity programs recently implemented by the UK government, regeneration efforts in the UK have shifted to the public-private/LEP model. Cities are refocusing their attention on economic matters and seeking business leaders to show the way. It's no small matter, either: with economies in excess of $50 billion annually, each of the panelists' cities are larger than some European countries. Interestingly, city leaders are not limiting their efforts to help from the UK government alone, looking to foreign investment partners. Their successes may become a model for other UK cities.

Video via MIPIM World. For more, visit the official conference blog at

Density & the city

Reporting from MIPIM 2011:

What does density mean for a city--"for better or for worse"? Density itself, or the lack of it, can have an impact. The global population shift from suburban to urban centers means suburban populations are shrinking. Some German cities, for example, have lost 30 percent of their population in two decades. The effects of this shrinkage on the real estate market include high vacancy rates combined with severe drops in value. To address the problems, German suburbs investing in infrastructure, revitalization techniques and even demolishing vacant units. Going forward it will be important to take into account this relocation, the resiliency of plans and the sustainability of projects when considering how to plan for the density within a city.

Our coverage of the sessions at MIPIM continues tomorrow, so bookmark the Wisconsin Real Estate Viewpoint and follow us on Twitter @UW_GraaskampCtr. And be sure to visit MIPIM World blog for video and other exclusive content.

Brazil: open for business at MIPIM 2011

Reporting from MIPIM 2011:

São Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab delivered some of the city's impressive numbers in his keynote address :
  • 4th largest city in the world,
  • 11.5 million inhabitants,
  • 12,500 restaurants,
  • 7.5 million automobiles, and
  • 450 helicopters.
Urban living is not only a necessity but also provides an impetus for the development of humanity, with urban citizens demanding better conditions, better education and improved care at all stages of life. Sao Paulo says it's ready to step up, drawing on the diversity of its communities including the biggest congregations of Lebanese, Italians, and Japaneses outside their home countries.

Sao Paulo is setting the stage for international investment, infrastructure and redevelopment in 2011 with "a one-hundred percent" commitment to best practices in transparency and accountability.

More news on the country came at the Investment Lab panel "Brazil: the present and future of investments." Historically, Brazil has respected all types of international capital flow through very strict laws guaranteeing repatriation of capital. The real estate market, employing more than 4.5 million people, represents 19% of total GDP and grew 11.6% last year. One of the biggest issues Brazil faces is its housing deficit; at 6 million units; one of the highest worldwide. The government is playing a big role in developing new projects over the next decade.

Ultimately Brazil looks to building a lasting legacy from the major events--the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and perhaps even the 2020 World Fair.

MIPIM 2011: Making green buildings pay

Reporting from MIPIM 2011:

Green building continues to be a hot topic. And as interest has continued even thru the economic crisis, it would appear the "trend" may be moving into the mainstream. Wednesday's session "Making Green Buildings Pay" addressed sustainability for occupiers.

Operating costs, over a building's life cycle, are approximately 80% of a building's aggregate cost. Developers cannot control interest rates or the price of energy, etc. but can impact energy consumption (running costs).

Tenants, as the drivers of space design, need to see and understand the real economic value, the cost savings, that justify green building investment and share in those benefits from investing in green buildings--one benefit being a positive public image.

Wisconsin MBA students in real estate are reporting from MIPIM. Continue to check this blog for more updates and visit MIPIMworld.

U.S. real estate rebound? MIPIM 2011

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 2:

In a recent survey of foreign property investors, the U.S. ranked some 50 percentage points higher than its closest competition in providing the greatest opportunities for capital appreciation and 20 points higher offering the most stable and secure property investments in the world.

The robust property markets in New York and Washington are considered signs of recovery of the real estate market. However, data from CRE showed that the vacancy rates for office, retail and multi-family are still at historic highs. Multi-family rents have started to improve while rents for most other commercial properties still soft. There was a nice spike in the real estate transaction at the end of year 2010, but the market is still weak in terms of price and volume. Property prices in New York and Washington were driven up by risk-averse capital investment in trophy properties, and the prices for most other properties are unchanged. Distressed assets continued to be drag for the market. The retail sector offers some opportunities with more bankruptcies and consolidations still to go. Unemployment and political factors represent macro risks for the real estate market.

Secondary markets in the U.S. are considered the next targets with huge potential and opportunities.

This is a topic of particular relevance to the Graaskamp Center and Prof. François Ortalo-Magné who leads an annual survey of the members of AFIRE, the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. The survey, results of which were released in January, revealed that the U.S. real estate market offers a stronger investment opportunity for foreign real estate investors’ money than it has in the last 10 years. Interestingly, there is typically a fairly even distribution of votes among the top U.S. cities for foreign investment. However, in this year’s survey, New York and Washington scored almost four times higher than third place Boston. Click here to read the full story and the detailed survey results.

MIPIM 2011: Understanding what sovereign wealth funds are looking for

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 2:

Sovereign wealth funds, or investment vehicles created from a country's reserves with the purpose of benefiting future generations, invest across many asset classes including real estate. Traditionally, these funds invest in prime office buildings in "prime" cities like London, New York, and Tokyo, with an interest in their home markets as well. As sovereign wealth funds continue to look for properties with strong fundamentals, there has been an increasing trend to focus on other investment vehicles, property types, and geographies.

Wednesday's panel "Capital Requirements: Understanding What Sovereign Wealth Funds Are Looking For When Investing in Property" highlighted recent investments in hotels and residential complexes, emphasizing that they added diversification to the portfolio. Emerging economies are the targets of increasing interest, particularly markets like Rio de Janeiro, Taipei, and Seoul. A trend that should continue as the changing economies of the world create new definitions of developed and emerging markets.

Despite strong portfolio returns and acquisitions of high-profile properties around the world, transparency concerns exist. Transparency is also something that has different meanings around the world.

German investors on finding the "right" risks at MIPIM 2011

Reporting from MIPIM 2011:

According to the German real estate investors on Tuesday’s panel session “Between Shock and Profit: the Global Perspectives of German Investors” at MIPIM, changing how assets are valued as well as how risk is managed are the keys to rebounding from the recession. Rather than simple short-term profit maximization, a return to a long-term view of asset management is needed, as well as a focus on correctly calculating risk, especially in open-ended funds which are currently facing redemption issues. In the meantime, the “flight to quality” continues. Portfolios today (and lenders) can accommodate some risk, but the type and allocation of risk has to be just right.

Our coverage of MIPIM continues here and follow us @UW_GraaskampCtr on Twitter.

Video via MIPIM World. For more, visit the official conference blog at

Diversifying in Asia: MIPIM 2011

Inter-regional capital flows have recovered in the Asia Pacific area said a panel of investors and researchers on the Tuesday MIPIM panel "Asian Capital: regional plans, global ambitions." After the downturn in 2008 and 2009, transaction volume in the real estate market has seen an upturn in the year 2010.

Corporate pension funds have invested heavily in the real estate sector while the government invested pension, which is one of the largest pension funds in the world, is pretty conservative in the market. Compared with Japan, Korean institutional investors are very active both in the domestic market and the global market. Diversifying their portfolio beyond their home markets is a priority; they have invested in mature markets such as London, Frankfurt and Paris.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weighing risk and reward in China at MIPIM 2011

China was the topic of one of the first panels of the day at MIPIM 2011, in a session looking at "Risk Versus Reward" in the country. Wisconsin real estate MBA students report on the discussion:

China’s strong economic growth, especially its sound performance during the global economic downturn, is driving more and more foreign investors to seek opportunities in China’s real estate market. A report from DTZ proves the point, showing that the proportion of foreign investors increased to 61% in 2010 from 29% in 2009.

However, there are risks in China’s market, including the uncertainty of government policies, a lack of high quality income properties, and the potential for competition from China’s own financial institutions which will become more important players as they explore increased economic freedom.

In addition to recognized opportunities in Tier 1 cities, the MIPIM panel opened a new window to second-tier city Chongqing, one of China’s fastest growing cities. Location, infrastructure, a solid industrial foundation, strong growth in science and technology are some of the elements creating a market with huge potential investment opportunities.

The Wisconsin School of Business is proud to partner with MIPIM World to bring you updates and developments from the show. For more coverage check in with us on or follow us @UW_GraaskampCtr on Twitter.

MIPIM 2011: New Europe: not east or west but north and south

Wisconsin MBA students in real estate attended today's major panel sessions at MIPIM. The major story from the one of the last of Tuesday's sessions: "Central Europe: Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold?" was the strength of the investment environment in Poland:

Europe is no longer classified as East and West, but rather North and South. And Northern Europe is emerging with an attractive investment environment.

Poland--specifically Warsaw--has seen a lot of activity, particularly large infrastructure improvements being built for Euro 2012 (the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship). Plus favorable cap rates, interest rates, and afforable debt in Warsaw have created a friendly real estate environment. Poland has earned a spot on the target country list for large institutional real estate investors.

Our coverage of the sessions at MIPIM continues tomorrow, so bookmark the Wisconsin Real Estate Viewpoint. And be sure to visit MIPIM World blog for video and other exclusive content.

Are foreign investors ready to return to Russia? Reporting from MIPIM 2011

Continuing our coverage from Tuesday's sessions at MIPIM 2011, this time with the outlook on investment in Russia:

Before the recession, foreign funds flowed into Russia into all types of investments in all regions of the country. However, once the downturn began, foreign capital slowed to a standstill. A phenomenon not unique to Russia, this was true throughout Europe with capital “returning to its base.” The struggle now is convincing investors to once again consider Russia.

Regions throughout Russia are actively trying to attract investors. Local governments have made improvements in areas ranging from infrastructure to simplifying the zoning approval process.

And some foreign investors are beginning to return to investments in Russia, sharing a belief and a history of investing in Russia. Such knowledge of the market and of the investment process in Russia is a competitive advantage which gives them an edge in completing transactions now.

Market conditions in Russia are improved today over what they were two years ago, making it seem like a more prudent investment target, but questions remain that will likely keep larger players on the sidelines for now.

For more coverage from the day's sessions, bookmark the Wisconsin Real Estate Viewpoint and visit MIPIM World.

MIPIM 2011: Balancing risk, regulation and recovery

Wisconsin Real Estate reporting from MIPIM 2011--on the afternoon session "Toward a Better Investment Marketplace: Reporting, Regulation and Risk" led by IPD (UK) Chairman Rupert Nabarro, addressing one of the official themes of this year's conference Finance: Beyond the Credit Crisis:

Much has been discussed about the role that lax regulation and excessive risk-taking played in the financial crisis of 2008. Today at MIPIM, a distinguished panel of experts continued that discussion with respect to the role of regulation and risk avoidance in the real estate marketplace.

While greater transparency is important, could new regulation hurt a fragile recovery? There was no doubt that new Basel 3 capital requirements and Solvency II regulations will have significant impact on real estate investment. Further complicating matters is overlapping and conflicting EU-level and country-level regulations.

The likelihood exists for markets to overheat again and mistakes to be repeated, but it would seem unlikely for the unique circumstances of 2008 to resurface, with or without new regulation.

Video via MIPIM World. For more coverage from the day's sessions, bookmark our blog and visit MIPIM World.

Putting the village back in the city: first sessions at MIPIM 2011

The Wisconsin Real Estate Program is in Cannes, France at MIPIM this week. Our delegation of real estate MBA students and faculty is reporting the news from the program sessions here on the Viewpoint blog.

The first report we've received is from Mayor of London Boris Johnson's keynote:

Addressing a packed auditorium today to deliver the keynote address, entitled "London: City of Regeneration," London Mayor Boris Johnson began by highlighting the city's recent successes--notably the 2012 Olympics--as well as the developments in Stratford City and the London Bridge Quarter. Other city improvement projects (on full display in the London tent outside the Palais) included the redevelopment of the Royal Docks and the introduction of a cable car spanning the Thames. Mayor Johnson made it a priority to highlight London's forward-looking strategy by discussing the city's "greening" and bike-share programs. He stressed the importance of being a "trusting" city where citizens are not subjected to high theft or crime. This idea goes hand in hand with the mayor's goal to "put the village back in the city," creating a greater sense of community while focusing on longevity of life and stronger education. "The city is the single greatest invention of our society," he noted, making sure attendees at this year's MIPIM understood the legacy that they are part.

The Wisconsin School of Business is proud to partner with MIPIM World to bring you updates and developments from the show.

We'll have more on today's sessions on

Video via MIPIM World. For more coverage from the day's sessions, bookmark our blog and visit MIPIM World.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reporting from MIPIM 2011

Over the weekend a delegation of students and faculty from the Wisconsin School of Business Real Estate Program arrived in Cannes, ready and eager to attend the international property conference MIPIM.

The Wisconsin Real Estate Program has a long history at MIPIM. This is the students' sixth annual trip to the event, participation is actually part of the MBA curriculum. The faculty chairman François Ortalo-Magné has delivered the wrap-up keynote several times at MIPIM--and at MIPIM Asia and MAPIC as well. He is on the 2011 schedule on Friday morning at 10:00 (local time).

As in years past, we will be blogging from the event. Students will be reporting key takeaways from the main sessions and keynotes on the program. We will also be working with the conference organizers on their new blog.

So come back to the blog for in-depth coverage of MIPIM 2011!

And in preparation for tomorrow's conference kick-off, take a look at our coverage from previous shows. How do you think the mood and outlook will be different this year?

Fostering collaboration

On March 4th and 5th, Wisconsin Real Estate faculty members Stephen Malpezzi, Tim Riddiough, Morris A. Davis and Erwan Quintin attended the fifth installment of the UW-Fed Housing-Urban-Labor-Macro (HULM) conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

The conference, a bi-annual event founded three years ago by Morris Davis, brings together individuals who are pushing the frontier in all aspects of real estate research. The first part of the conference focused on the causes and consequences of the recent subprime crisis and on the effects of various policy responses to the crisis. The second part of the conference dealt with cycles in the market for land and structures. Details and papers are here.

A unique aspect of this increasingly successful event is the collaboration it fosters between academic researchers who study optimal policy responses to various real estate events and the very people who implement these policy responses. The latter include not only Federal Reserve economists but also researchers from Government Sponsored Agencies. One of the highlights of this year’s event was an intense debate over the merits of loan modification policies motivated by a unique study of Countrywide’s court-imposed modification program.

The next installment of the conference will take place at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in September.

Photo by Lance McCord via Flickr

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Join us for an online chat on the Wisconsin Real Estate MBA Friday at 1:00!

Are you looking to take the next step in your real estate career? Are you interested in earning your MBA in real estate?

Assistant Director Sharon McCabe will be online answering your questions on

Friday, March 4th 2011
Register here.

This one-hour session is for anyone who would like to learn more about Wisconsin's top ranked real estate MBA program. Sharon, a member of the real estate faculty and a practitioner in appraisal and consulting, is able to answer your questions about:
Please sign up now for this online session and join us tomorrow or feel free to contact us directly with questions.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wisconsin full-time MBA Polar Plunge team sets record

Congratulations to all the Wisconsin MBA students (including real estate!) who participated in this year's Polar Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics Wisconsin.

According to the Wisconsin School of Business Gazette:

The team consisted of 69 participants who raised $19,012—a record high for them. The team raised the third-highest amount in Dane County.

Click over to the Gazette for photos and video highlights!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting ready for MIPIM

First-year Wisconsin Real Estate MBA students will travel to Cannes, France next week to attend MIPIM. To prepare for one of the most anticipated international real estate events of the year, our students have been doing research and hearing from leading professionals in the industry on how to get the most out of the trip. In this entry in our series Meet Our Current Students, Julia Xia shares her preparations:

It’s only one week away from MIPIM - the world's premier real estate event. All of the first-year Wisconsin Real Estate MBA students are going, and we are busy getting prepared for this important event. One bit of homework that we’ve done is research current hot topics in global real estate, and then present the research to our classmates and share our findings. These topics include, but are not limited to, China’s real estate capital, the emerging real estate market in Middle East, open-ended and close-ended funds in Germany, and sovereign wealth funds.

One particularly interesting topic is the real estate capital flows from China to Europe and the U.S. (The Many Ways Chinese Capital Is Entering US Property Markets, (subscription), 10/12/10) Chinese capital has been very active and powerful in the global real estate market in recent years. (Chinese Investors, Lenders, Quietly Penetrate Foreign Markets, Investment & Pension Funds Europe (login required), 12/7/10) The major sources of capital are the government (sovereign wealth funds like China Investment Corp.), institutional investors and wealthy individuals. For example, $62.6 billion of Chinese investment occurred in U.S. commercial real estate during 2010. The forms of investment include equity investment, debt investment, buying property, buying real estate financial products such as loan portfolios and direct real estate development. The large amount of foreign currency reserves, the domestic inflation pressure and the appreciation potential of RMB are the major forces driving Chinese capital to invest in the global real estate market. Recently, the policy loosening capital exchange restrictions will bring more Chinese capital to the global real estate market.

Another topic I found very interesting is the real estate market in the Middle East. The region can be categorized into three types of markets: stable and more open markets such as Turkey, UAE and Qatar; markets in revolution and conflict such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya; and government-controlled investment markets such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. Out of these markets, Turkey seems to be the most emerging and booming real estate market. Istanbul ranked as the number 1 city for economic growth in 2010. (Istanbul Favorite European City for Property, Bloomberg, 2/3/11) The economy and the employment rate increased 5.5% and 7.3% respectively in 2010, making it an attractive market for global real estate investment.

MIPIM will be great, just to get connected with the most influential real estate professionals. We are trying our best to get ready to learn, to share and to connect at the event. Hope to see you there!

Julia Xia is a first-year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate. Formerly a real estate consultant and asset manager in Beijing, Julia graduated from Peking University with a bachelor's degree in finance and banking.

The Wisconsin Real Estate Viewpoint will be reporting from MIPIM next week!
Check back for updates and key takeaways from all the sessions! You can also follow us on Twitter @UW_GraaskampCtr and on Facebook.

Also, be sure to stick around for the wrap-up keynote presentation at MIPIM on Friday March 11 at 10:00 am (local time). Prof. François Ortalo-Magné, Robert E. Wangard Chair in Real Estate, and Philippe Tannebaum, IEIF, will deliver an overview on Real Estate Investment Post-Crisis: What Have We Learned? What Next?