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  • Donald Trump

3 Likely Outcomes of a Trump Administration on Commercial Real Estate

November 24th, 2016|

The Comfort of Opinion

John F. Kennedy once said, “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”  This quote rings true when you look at all the opinions circulating on the internet about a Trump Administration.  Opinions range from euphoric to apocalyptic depending on whose political views you like to read.  This article will not change your opinion one way or the other about Donald Trump.  It’s not meant to.  This article discusses the impact a Trump Administration will have on commercial real estate.  Before I take a stab at that topic, let’s look at Trump’s economic thinking.

A Shift in Economic Thinking

Assuming Donald Trump governs like he campaigned, his economic ideology will be a major sea change in thinking for the Republican Party.  It will no longer be the party of Ronald Reagan.  Instead it will be characterized by:

  • Decreasing globalization and free trade. NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) will be renegotiated.  Participation in the TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) will be withdrawn.
  • Fiscal policies that have the potential to greatly stimulate the economy but also have the potential for huge budget deficits.
  • The promotion of policies stimulating traditional domestic manufacturing above other sectors of the economy.

For the first time in our nation’s history we will have a real estate developer as president.  It stands to reason that his proposed policies should be very good for commercial real estate.

Trump Team Needs Capable Negotiators

As of this writing, President-Elect Trump has yet to name his economic team.  No one knows how much of his economic agenda he’ll be able to enact.  Because of Senate rules, Democrats still have considerable influence.  Consequently, how much legislation gets passed will require cooperating with the Democrats.  He’s president, not king.  So he cannot just decree that his policies be put into law.  To succeed Trump will need to have people on his economic team that are capable legislators.  They need to know how to negotiate well with the other side.  If not, very little will get through the Senate.  Let’s assume he is successful in getting his policies enacted.  Shown below are three likely outcomes that will affect commercial real estate: (more…)

My Take on Hillary Clinton’s Trust Issue

August 5th, 2016|

In March, I wrote a blog post titled, My Take on a Donald Trump Presidency in which I ended the article with, “He would be dangerous as President of the United States.  We deserve better.”  Being an equal opportunity offender, I now turn my attention to Hillary Clinton.

It has been reported in the press, that Hillary Clinton has a trust issue with the American people.  A New York Times/CBS News poll earlier this year found that 64% of voters answered “no” when asked if they felt Clinton was “honest and trustworthy.”

In his New York Times bestselling book, The Speed of Trust, Steven Covey identifies trust as a function of two things merging together: competence and character.  In order to trust someone that person must both be competent at what they do and have the character, i.e., the integrity and honesty that you know they will do what they say.  If either competence or character is not present in a person, trust is not possible.

Let’s take an objective look at these two qualities in Hillary Clinton.  (more…)

  • Brexit with Flag

Brexit – How it Impacts U.S. Commercial Real Estate

July 9th, 2016|

In spite of everybody and their brother having written about the United Kingdom’s vote on June 23rd to leave the European Union I believe I can provide a bit of clarity for my readers with some well-chosen, pithy comments.  So here goes.

Make no mistake, Brexit will have enormous impact on the world economy and more importantly, from our point of view, on commercial real estate in the United States.  But before I explain how it will affect U.S. CRE, let’s review the impact it is already having on the world stage, in the short few weeks since the Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Four Major Impacts on World Economy

  1. The value of the Sterling pound in relation to the U.S. dollar has dropped precipitously, losing 14% of its value.
  2. U.S. Treasuries rates have plummeted. The 10 year treasury rate traded at 1.67% before the vote and as of July 8th, it closed at 1.36%.  This is the lowest rate on record!
  3. Bank stocks in the U.K., the E.U. and the U.S. have dropped about 36%, 25% and 8% respectively.
  4. The U.S. dollar in relation to a basket of other currencies continues to strengthen.

These are some of the unintended consequences of the Brexit vote.  It will take years to fully feel the impact of this historic decision resulting in a lot of uncertainty which the markets of the world absolutely hate.

Other possible Brexit related carnage: (more…)

5 Trends That Will Impact Your Real Estate Investments

May 10th, 2016|



The Portland economy and real estate market are clicking on all cylinders right now.  All you have to do is read The Barry Apartment Report Spring 2016 edition to realize just how good we’ve got it:

  • Unemployment at 4.3%
  • Job growth at 3.2%
  • Population growth at 1.6%
  • Portland-Salem Consumer Price Index at 1.2%
  • Apartment values up 10 to 20% in 2015
  • Apartment income up 4% to 7% in 2015
  • Apartment vacancies at 3.5%

Life is good.  Isn’t it?  It’s so good that there are days that I pinch myself to see if I’m living in reality or some make believe world.

But how is the rest of the U.S. real estate market doing?  You may be thinking, “Why should I care?” The answer is simple: You should care because sometime in the not too distant future we will follow down the same path.  In some instances we’re already doing so but we have yet to feel the full affect of the nascent trend.  The Portland market is not an island unto itself that is unaffected by the rest of the country.  So Portlandia and the Pacific Northwest in general will inevitably follow.


So what’s going on?  There are some interesting trends happening even as we speak: (more…)

My Take on a Donald Trump Presidency

March 19th, 2016|

I rarely comment about politics in my blog posts as it’s a sure fire way to alienate some of my readers who hold different points of view.  I do so today with fear and trepidation but I feel compelled to do so.  As the saying goes, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” I am willing to be considered a fool if it helps to provide my readers a bit of clarity on the controversial candidate Donald Trump.  If I lose some of you as readers because of my take on Donald Trump then so be it, but I have no desire to add fuel to a raging fire, only clarity. Read more »

Negative Interest Rates – Coming to a Bank Near You

February 5th, 2016|


In my January 9th blog post, “My Crystal Ball Forecast for Commercial Real Estate in 2016” I stated that even the most seasoned prognosticators will fail to predict major events occurring in 2016. And these unexpected events will have enormous influence on the economy and specifically on commercial real estate. (more…)

  • Tipping Point Marshall Commercial Funding

Apartment Rental Rates – Are We at a Tipping Point?

January 23rd, 2016|

In my last blog post, My Crystal Ball Forecast for Commercial Real Estate in 2016, I made five predictions about the coming year. One of my predictions was that 2016 will be the last year for modest growth for the US economy. Unfortunately it appears the world is heading towards a recession this year and the US will likely follow sometime early next year. (more…)

  • Crystal Ball

My Crystal Ball Forecast for Commercial Real Estate in 2016

January 9th, 2016|

I’ve always believed it’s better to have an opinion and later be found wrong than to be a person who has either no convictions or doesn’t have the courage to express them. So I respectfully disagree with the saying, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” (more…)

  • treasury rates question mark

How Will The Currency Wars Affect Interest Rates This Year?

March 21st, 2015|

As a commercial mortgage broker I’m often asked my opinion about interest rates. “What do you see them doing over the next year,” they ask? For the sake of full disclosure, my track record for accurately predicting what interest rates will do six months to a year out is dismal. (more…)

Midterm Elections: Would a Republican Takeover of the Senate be Bullish for the Stock Market?

November 1st, 2014|

At the time of this writing (Saturday afternoon) pundits are projecting the Republicans will take over the Senate. The latest FiveThirtyEight forecast is that the GDP has a 65% chance of controlling the Senate; some polling organizations have it at much higher odds. Since the Republicans already control the House, a takeover of the Senate would give them control over the legislative branch. (more…)