Housing: An Asset Class or a Place to Live?
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 / 10:45 am - 11:45 am
, Chief Business Correspondent, U.S. News & World Report
Private real estate investors appear to have done what the government, bankers and other market participants couldn't - attract new sources of capital and clear inventory. A housing recovery is underway in the U.S., with sales of existing homes reaching their highest levels since 2007 and prices bottoming out. Single-family homes have become an alternative asset class with investors such as Blackstone Group and Colony Capital allocating billions to it. They can pay in cash and absorb inventory in bulk. Private investors are behind much of the new home development as well. Realtors, builders and mortgage lenders seem happy with these developments, but how do they change traditional market relationships? Do builders care whether the buyer is an investor or a family? What about the realtor's role in helping a couple find their "dream house"? With lending standards still tight, can prospective homeowners compete? Our panel will explore how the new phase in real estate has changed the rules of the market.