2011 Will Be The Year

February 8, 2011

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty

2011 will be the year we begin the recovery for a successful 10 year run. If we can get 5 strong years out of a 10 year real estate cycle, we will have been successful. Historical numbers show we did just that in the 80s, 90s and from 2000 to 2010 and we expect the same trend as we head to 2020. So plan on 5 strong years and work, plan and prepare to make the other 5 ok and not awful. 

We continue to have serious challenges with $1.4 trillion in National commercial debt coming due between 2010 and 2014.  Commercial owners are returning keys to banks (you may have heard the term “jingle mail”), and employment rates that are not expected to improve much this year.  Past downturns have been based on over building, but this downturn is clearly Global, based on over leveraging and record setting job loss. 

But there’s not a better place to be in the country. Our market, as it has in the past, will recover more quickly than other markets, and our State and region give us reason to have confidence in the recovery.  This year expect: 
• Vacancy rates to start trending down
• Could be a supply problem is some submarkets
• Rental rates to hit bottom
• Absorption to remain flat
• No speculative construction anytime soon
• Investment sales up another 40 percent, and
• Land prices to now reflect true values.

Emerging Perspectives/Part III

January 31, 2011

Steve Stroud, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty, gave the following  ‘perspective’ at the 26th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference held on January 12th at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC.  This is the Part III and the final portion of his remarks.

“There are many who will try to convince us that ‘taking our country back’ means taking it backwards.  And nothing is further from the truth.  Yes, we want a return to our founding principles, to personal responsibility, statesmanship, and fair taxation. But, believe me, the solutions to the mess we are in now, require that we look to the future.  Specifically, to take a hard look at our schools and universities and work for fundamental changes in the ways we are teaching our children – especially when it comes to teaching the history of this great country.

Steve Stroud, SIOR, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty

Unfortunately, many of us will not be around to solve the problems we’ve created.  I believe that at this point the best legacy we can leave behind . . . something we can accomplish . . . is to get our education system back on the right track. 

For example, at the high school and elementary level, you have the efforts of Bob Luddy, founder and president of CaptiveAire Systems.  Bob has a passion for education, and he’s put his enthusiasm, time and money into creating Franklin Academy, Saint Thomas More Academy, and, in 2007, Bob opened Thales Academy in Raleigh, the first in a network of private community schools offering a high-quality grammar school education at low-cost tuition.  Franklin Academy and St. Thomas More are both nationally ranked near the top of all secondary schools.

We have charter schools like Raleigh Charter High School.  It was founded by a Board of Directors made up of business professionals, experienced educators, and college professors.  It is a community school, with a diverse student population and parents dedicated to seeing that their children succeed in a disciplined atmosphere that promotes real learning.

There are many new perspectives emerging on the education scene.  Students and parents have new opportunities, and we need to provide them with even more. We, as business and community leaders, have a responsibility to get involved.  We need to work with our public school system to help them make changes to better prepare our children to compete and succeed in the next century.

If we are going to get our country back, the best place to start is getting our schools back.  And by that I mean getting control away from those who object to the Pledge of Allegiance, and those who don’t believe it’s important that our children learn about the real heroes of American history.  We need the next generations, to appreciate the sacrifices that have made possible all of the freedoms we too often take for granted.  

I’ll close with this quote:  “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”  Thomas Jefferson

We have been silent long enough.”

Emerging Perspectives/Part II

January 25, 2011

Steve Stroud, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty, gave the following ‘perspective’ at the 26th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference held on January 12th at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC.  This is Part II of his remarks.

Steve Stroud, SIOR, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty

“My parents, and their generation, never complained to the government, and never asked for anything but an opportunity.  They rolled up their sleeves and went to work, and they made the most of any opportunity that was afforded them.  They belonged to a community, and that community looked out for one another. There was nothing exceptional about their circumstances, or their resolve to raise a family with a deep sense of personal responsibility and a respect for this country and what it stands for.  They were a typical North Carolina farm family of the 1940’s and Fifties. Their values were hard work, and thrift, and belief in God and family. Their values had not changed one bit from those of our Founding Fathers.

This was not so long ago.  A single generation, in fact.  So where did we go wrong?  And more importantly, what can we do to get our country back again?

First, bring back statesmanship . . . . in Washington DC, in our state capitals, and in our city and county governments as well.  We need to stop electing politicians who know how to campaign but know nothing about governing.  We need to quit the earmarks and eliminate the gerrymandering that creates congressional districts that look like somebody spilled a bottle of ink on the map. Both parties have been guilty of the same thing. 

Second, get rid of bloated government.  Lately it seems that the only jobs being created have been government jobs. On the day that the Federal government employs fifty percent of the population, plus one person, then our democracy will cease to exist. 

Third, bring integrity back to our electoral process.  The right of every legal, registered citizen to vote must be protected.  And we must recognize that if people who have not earned the franchise are allowed to vote, that hurts the legitimacy of the whole democratic process.  Bring back the process where voters need to show their voter registration card, or some other form of official ID.  Right now it’s too easy to cheat.  In fact, the instructions on how to do so are published on the Internet.

Finally, we’ve got to fix the relentless taxation that seems to be aimed at punishing those who make the most of their opportunities and achieve something in our society. 

In some twisted fashion the achievers have become the enemy, to be seen simply as a source of tax money that is then re-distributed.  And when the bill comes due for this incredible level of deficit spending, who do you think is going to be asked to pay it? 

(Part III, the final portion of Steve’s remarks will be posted next week.)

Emerging Perspectives/Part I

January 16, 2011

Steve Stroud, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty, gave the following ‘perspective’ at the 26th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference held on January 12th at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC.  This is Part I of his remarks.

Steve Stroud, SIOR, Chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty

“Last year, I talked about essentials to continued growth: the importance of funding our flagship universities to maintain our competitive edge; educating our residents to establish a metropolitan agency to plan for infrastructure, water, sewer, and public services providing efficiency and economies of scale; and finally asking for a good-faith effort between commercial lenders and their mortgagees to extend performing loans and avoid making calls that trigger domino effects throughout the local economy.

Today, I still hold to my recommendations from last year, but I think there is more at stake right now.  I believe our leaders in Washington are playing a dangerous game. Perhaps they should read again what Thomas Jefferson reminded his fellow citizens in his First Inaugural Address, that happiness and prosperity rested upon,

“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”  This, he thought, was “the sum of good government.” Thomas Jefferson

Today, government borrowing has created a staggering national debt – now an incredible 94% of GDP. That not only threatens our stability now, but it will be a burden to our children, and our children’s children.  The so-called stimulus did nothing, except create problems we’ll encounter further down the road.  Our national debt has increased by 86%. Unemployment is stuck at more than 9%, and we all know the real number is much, much higher than that.

Obviously our local economy remains at the mercy of decisions made in Washington.  So tonight I’m going to take a broader perspective, and talk to you about our legacy as a nation, and then focus in on what I perceive to be our best hope for getting out of this situation – a greater involvement by all of us in the education of our children. 

We need to return to teaching American history in a way that will renew their appreciation for this country’s greatness and its unique position as a beacon of freedom in the world….by teaching our children the principles put in place by our founding fathers.”

Nothing Could Be Finer…

September 24, 2010

We can’t say it enough…the Raleigh/Durham region is one of the best places in the US to live, work and play.  This was reconfirmed this week when I attended the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board meeting and heard the latest Economic Development report.  From May 15-September 15, Wake County Economic Development has assigned 12 new projects, had 7 client visits and had 104 existing industry interactions.   Twenty projects are actively being worked on by staff and will represent a potential total of $305,625,000 in new investment and 3,293 new jobs.  There have also been 18 companies who have relocated or expanded in the area since May.  They include:  BB&T, Deere & Co., Kyma Technologies, Inc., Rex Healthcare, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, and Pensk Truck Leasing Co.  These 18 companies account for 267 new jobs and over $167.9 million in new investment.

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes, SIOR, President of NAI Carolantic Realty, Jbarnes@naicarolantic.com

Despite the sluggish commercial real estate market, we do see some activity.  One of our brokers, Scott Hadley, just completed a large lease renewal and expansion for FMI.  Another broker, Gray Creech, closed on two office condos, and I recently completed at 25,000sf lease with BeavEx in RTP. We continue to work with several clients in locating new sites for their operations. In addition, we are helping several banks dispose of excess real estate with closings occurring in North and South Carolina.

Let us know if we can be of assistance to you.  As the song goes, “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina!”

NOTE:  Be sure to mark your calendar for our 26th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference scheduled for January 12, 2011 at the RBC Center in Raleigh.  This invitation-only event continues to be one of the most unique gatherings of Triangle business and community leaders.