Barry Bluestone, economist and dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, has the answer for getting the recession behind us. Fix the housing market and you fix the economy.
This is how Bluestone opened his economic overview at yesterday’s NAIOP/SIOR Annual Market Forecast. “If the White House and Congress can agree to temporarily raise the tax rate for the rich,” he said, “we can avoid the fiscal cliff.” This, he admitted, caused a stir among readers of his Boston.com blog.
Bluestone said that overall he is bullish on the economy. “Consumer gloom is lifting, manufacturing is coming back, and we are moving toward full employment by 2015,” he concluded.
The program’s panelists included Frank Petz , the Regional Leader of our Capital Markets team. He referred to Bluestone as “Dr. Blue Sky” and echoed some of this optimism.
“Boston is hot,” said Petz (shown in photo). “It continues to be a target for investors.” He gave as an example Jones Lang LaSalle’s Two Liberty Square listing. “We received 128 signed confidentiality agreements and 30 offers for this 70,000 square foot office building.”
Why, then, is sales volume down compared to last year. “Everyone thinks that Boston is still on the rise,” Petz explained. “The thinking is why sell now. Pricing is, however, getting enticing for owners.”
Petz also spoke of the urbanization of Boston. “There is a seismic shift in life style taking place. People want to live in the city where the action is.” According to our multi-family experts Michael Coyne and Travis D’Amato, there are 7,500 units planned downtown and they believe that there’s demand for more.