The 17th annual Real Estate Conference, hosted by USD’s Burnham-Moores Center (BMC) for Real Estate at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel on March 8, presented 700 audience members with industry insights and generally optimistic observations from local and national experts.
But, for the second straight year — last time as a prospective student and this time as a full-time student in the USD Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) cohort that will graduate in May — Inna Panchuk was beaming.
“It’s such a wonderful conference, one of the best in San Diego for real estate,” said the native of Vladivostok, Russia. “The caliber of people who come here and you get to meet are from all over the place. It’s so inspiring. It’s a great conference to come to learn more and to network.”
Panchuk said her attendance at last year’s conference, headlined by U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard K. Davis discussing commercial real estate, helped her decide on the MSRE program over seeking an MBA at USD.
On Friday, Panchuk and another current full-time cohort member, Hao Wen, who came to USD in August from Beijing, China, choosing its MSRE program over those at New York University and Johns Hopkins, were eager to expand on what they’ve learned in the classroom so far.
“This year, I thought the opening panel was fabulous and they gave a great perspective of the future and the current scene of San Diego development,” Panchuk said. “I thought Greg Horowitt gave an inspiring speech about innovation. It was like a TED talk. I also thought Asieh Mansour was very knowledgeable.”
The opening panel featured a San Diego trio of heavyweights (pictured, top from left to right) in Qualcomm Inc. Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Irwin Jacobs, former Burnham Real Estate Chairman Malin Burnham; Qualcomm Inc. Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Irwin Jacobs; and American Assets Trust’s Executive Chairman Ernest Rady.
They examined a future San Diego County with its anticipated population growth — estimated to be 1.5 million additional people to its current three million by 2050 — and how it will impact infrastructure, the need for a second airport, attracting top talent, the impact of immigration reform, and keeping and developing existing companies. They also touched on the impact of sequestration and how it will affect local projects.
Each one’s parting words expressed optimism for San Diego’s future, as Burnham noted the city has three very strong attributes: “We have the best weather in the world, a great variety of landscapes and being located on the Pacific Rim and Latin America provides opportunities in both spheres.”
Horowitt, managing director of T2 Venture Capital, delivered a Changemaker-inspired talk on the need for changes in economic development to promote innovation and new business formation as it pertains to commercial real estate. Mansour, the head of Americas Research for CBRE, discussed her outlook on commercial real estate and capital market trends.
The day’s final speaker was Fannie Mae’s Douglas G. Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for its Economics and Strategic Research Group. He examined prospective demographic changes in America and the implications it could have on single- and multi-family real estate and mortgage markets.
Duncan’s takeaway points: “Growth is slowing and shifting toward older, minority and nontraditional households; Economic scars from the Great Recession persist, with stubbornly slow recoveries in employment and income; Housing construction, home prices and loan performance are beginning to improve; and the housing bust induced a shift from owning to renting, particularly among the nonelderly and in the single-family market, but the desire for home ownership remains strong.”
In addition to the conference speakers, BMC Executive Director Mark J. Riedy publicly recognized USD’s Carey Algaze (pictured, above left) and Nick Norris (pictured, at right), the 2012 spring and fall semester Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship recipients, respectively. Algaze earned her MSRE and MBA degrees in 2012 while Norris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, is currently in the MSRE’s part-time program. Both students credited the MSRE program and its faculty members for enhancing their education about the real estate business.
Friday’s conference was part of that equation for Panchuk, Wen and others.
— Ryan T. Blystone
See the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations at last Friday’s Real Estate Conference