Speaker: Patrick Jankowski, Sr. V.P. Research-Greater Houston Partnership
Takeaway: No recession in sight for the Houston or for the national economy.
• Oil prices need to find their ‘sweet spot’ for both the Houston and the national economies
• ‘Recession’ is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth-in spite of the negative things in the news these days, a recession does not appear to be indicated any time soon
To read more click here .
With some mildly qualifying caveats in selected commercial real estate segments, the overall light is green in Houston’s economy for 2019.
• Economic growth in Houston was very weak 2014-17 but the economy
was sustained by fracking momentum, a Ship Channel chemical
boom, and post-Harvey retail and construction
• Job losses matched the ‘80s here during recent oil downturn, but
have stabilized without a big upward bounce
• Nine service sectors carried our economy post-slump: retail, health
care, finance, bars & restaurants, local gov’t, private education, state
gov’t, arts and entertainment, lodging. Click to read more at www.rednews.com .
Takeaway: Leasing and development and investment sales in this segment are beginning to show signs of slowing, but not flattening out, whether inside or outside the Loop. Growth in rents and
prices in general is projected to continue, albeit at a slightly lower rate than in recent years.
• Huge price increases inside the Loop in leasing and sales, due to increased desire for ‘urban living’ by empty nesters and Millennials, aided by strong growth of mid- and high-rise residential units
• Reducing commuting time by living ‘closer to the action’ has a high appeal, plus ‘having fun right where you live’
• As some big box stores exit the scene, they are tending to be replaced now with entertainment, fitness, or restaurant tenants… not traditional clothing stores
To read the PDF click here
Takeaway: The local and national economies are hot, but prudent businesses are thinking and planning ahead to be ready for the next (inevitable) recession.
Where are we now in the economic cycle?
• Economy is still expanding but is in the late stage of the current cycle, which has lasted ten years so far
• There is a lot of borrowing going on and businesses are feeling comfortable taking risks-lending/borrowing has been ‘cheap and easy’
• There are lots of mergers & acquisitions (M&A) going on, but buyers are paying full price and more, hoping to improve productivity of acquired company
• The Feds are slowly raising historically very low interest rates to head off possible inflation, which puts a damper on business values because more cash will be needed to service debt
• Many businesses are experiencing ‘their best year ever’ and there is lots of momentum going forward, with a 4% growth rate in the national economy
• We are in an inflated market, with values 5-15% too high-business owners / managers should prepare now for recession so they do not panic when it hits
• There is over $1.5 trillion buying power on the sidelines looking for yield, a huge overhang of excess capital
• New funds are having an easy time raising money
When will the recession come, and what should one do to plan for it?
• The recession could hit mid-to late 2020 but no one really knows
• M&A activity usually has a six year cycle-we are in the 8th year
• Old stodgy established brand companies are looking for groovy new acquisitions to show they are still in the game, and can continue to appeal to contemporary customers
• If the Feds raise interest rates quickly, that could hasten the recession, and vice-versa
• Now is a good time to sell your business while buyers are paying premium rates-thorough preparation is critical in packaging your company to take it to mark-remove any question marks a buyer may have in advance of putting it up for sale
• Operating businesses should establish a cash cushion to carry them through the unforeseen circumstances which always accompany a downturn
• Give your business a stress test now: what would happen if suddenly you lost one or more of your best customers, or hit other major snags?
• Every economic bubble stems from relaxing of discipline, and so far no great departure from discipline has made itself visible in our economy
• Business owners are people of action and when a recession hits, sometimes they take hasty and unwarranted actions which increase the negative impact-best strategy is to prepare, wait and see, and look for opportunities that can be picked up at favorable prices
• The onset of a recession is not a time to panic and to depart from your established successful business plan-avoid knee-jerk reactions
What will be the impact of tariffs on the economy and business climate in general?
• So far minimal, but the initial tariffs have not yet had time to filter down, nor have other countries gotten all of their reciprocal tariffs against us in place
• They are worrisome and concerning since they don’t seem to be part of a cohesive plan and in past business cycles imposition of tariffs has not had a happy ending for the US or world economies
• The administration is playing with fire
• They create new and un-needed risks for the economy going forward
Read this forum in PDF format here .
Takeaway: Houston has a 24% vacancy of office space, including primary and sub-lease inventory, and it is not going away any time soon, as companies down-size, and, “right-size”, learning how to make do with less space than before the downturn in 2014.
Read the detailed forecast here.
BY RAY HANKAMER
Takeaway: The land market in the Houston Metro area is on a “sugar high”, and it is a good time to be a seller while the market is booming. Interest rates will probably rise ongoing. Inventories of usable land are shrinking and prices are rising.
• Lots of activity on the west side of town as distributors seek warehouses to support the ‘last mile’ of delivery to consumers.
• Lots of ongoing activity on southeast side to support increased activity at the Port of Houston, where rail-served sites are in demand and selling at a price premium.
• There is no industrial ‘spec’ development at the moment (without pre-leasing).
Click here to read more.