Commercial real estate (CRE) executives expect to see improvements in revenue and a wider workforce next year, but the majority predict a full economic recovery is years away, according to a recent survey by KPMG LLP.
In the KPMG survey, 57% do not expect a full economic recovery until the end of 2013 or later. However, 64% of the CRE executives said their company's current revenue is higher than last year, and 75% anticipate that their revenue will be higher one year from now.
The CRE executives also are beginning to expand their workforce: 53% said they plan to add personnel in the next year, compared to 13% who predict a decrease. However, they are not predicting that hiring will significantly pick up anytime soon. When asked when they expect their company's U.S. workforce to return to pre-recession levels, 27% said the end of 2013, 17% said the end of 2014 or later, and 11% said it would never return to pre-recession levels.
In the KPMG survey, 34% of the executives said they expect a significant amount of multifamily development to commence next year, a much higher percentage than the office (22%), retail (20%), hospitality (19%) and industrial (17%) sectors.
‘Although real estate executives see things moving in the right direction, they believe it's going to be some time before they see evidence to support higher levels of confidence,’ says Greg Williams, national leader of KPMG LLP's Building, Construction and Real Estate practice. ‘This is not surprising considering the status of current uncertain economic conditions and how hard this industry was hit by the downturn.’