Real estate and the interconnected world

Robb Bagguley has seen plenty of real estate slumps. But he’s never seen a slump like the one the United States is currently suffering.

Bagguley is president of the Midwest region of Transwestern, a commercial real estate company based in Chicago. This slump is different, he says, for one big reason: it’s global.

“In previous real estate slumps, there were always places, in the country or across the globe, that were doing well,” Bagguley said. “That’s not the case today. This recession has affected everyone across the globe. We are all interconnected now.”

It’s hard to argue against this. Greece’s economic crisis, after all, hurt the performance of the U.S. stock market. BP’s misadventures in the Gulf Coast are hurting consumer confidence across the United States, some analysts say.

It’s little wonder, then, that so many of the real estate agents and commercial brokers I interview look so wistfully back on the real estate slump of the early 1990s. As Bagguley said, after the real estate markets hit bottom in 1994, a good bounce in activity followed in 1995. We all hope that this real estate slump has already hit its bottom. But it’s clear that if it has, there’s been no bounce-back yet.

And that makes this the most challenging real estate slump that industry veteran Bagguley can remember.

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