September 24, 2003

LOS ANGELES — Southern California's multi-family housing is in a period of sustained growth, reported leading real estate industry experts to a packed auditorium at the UCLA Multi-Family Housing Forecast Conference at The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, September 10, 2003, more than 330 real estate industry executives attended the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate's fifth annual Multi-Family Housing Conference.

“This conference creates a forum for the presentation of real-time data and ideas in order to promote the development of multi-family housing in Southern California," said John Long, managing partner, Highridge Partners and chairman of the Ziman Center. "The issues at hand are timely and far-reaching in scope as the future vitality of Southern California's economy is heavily dependent on the availability of housing.”

The forecast conference opened with a welcome by John Long, chairman, Ziman Center for Real Estate, Dr. Stephen Day Cauley, associate director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate, Clive Hoffman, conference chairman and president, Clive Hoffman Associates, and Walter Torous, professor of finance at UCLA Anderson School of Management and director of the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate.

Among the day's highlights was a keynote speech about multi-family housing priorities by Geoffrey L. Stack, managing director, SARES-REGIS Group and vice chairman, National Multi-Housing Council. An expert in multi-family residential developments and investments, Stack gave insight into issues such as affordable housing in Southern California and long-term trends affecting real estate. He notes that the portion of the population that cannot afford houses is growing. In addition, he believes that baby boomers will most likely downsize from homes to affordable apartments.

Following Stack's discussion, a panel of foremost industry experts discussed real estate trends and data in a session titled, "Impact of Public Policy on the Entitlement, Financing and Development of Affordable and Market-Rate Multi-Family Housing." Mark Lacter, editor, Los Angeles Business Journal, moderated the panel, which comprised the following speakers:

  • Rick Cole, city manager, Azusa
  • Larry Kosmont, president & CEO, Kosmont Companies
  • Lawrence A. Scott, vice president, AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
  • Laurie Weir, executive director, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

Participants then heard from Dr. Stephen Day Cauley, associate director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate, who provided attendees with his multi-family housing forecast for the Southern California region. He addressed market economic drivers that impact demand for Southern California apartments, forecasts of the region's rents, prices and capitalization rates, and forecast implications for the financial and social viability of the Southern California economy.

Long-term demographic trends are very favorable for Southern California apartments, reports Dr. Cauley. "We are in a period of sustained growth of portions of the population that will demand apartments: lower income families who will never be able to afford homeownership and young, highly educated professionals. We think the growth of biotech/biomedical and defense industry employment will present important development opportunities in these areas," said Dr. Cauley. He also added that the Inland Empire will provide development opportunities as well.

Dr. Cauley does not believe the housing price increases, along with the corresponding decline in cap rates, are indicative of a price bubble. He notes that, "Declines in market interest rates can explain a substantial portion of the observed price increases. During this period the yield-to-maturity on Moody's BAA bond index declined by more than 170 basis points, approximately the same amount as cap rates."

Conference participants were later privy to a luncheon keynote speech by Los Angeles City Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa. He addressed the crowd with a discussion about local government issues affecting the multi-family housing industry and the difficulties Southern California is facing with the affordable housing supply.

After lunch "meet the experts" panel sessions were offered for participants. Topics and leading real estate expert panels included:

New Sources of Debt & Equity

  • Mark C. Ritchie, senior vice president, Churchill Mortgage Corporation
  • Gregory F. Schem, president and principal, The KOR Group

Developing Affordable Housing

  • Sarah Dusseault, Los Angeles assistant deputy mayor for Economic Development
  • Laurie Weir, executive director, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

Navigating the Entitlement Morass

  • Susan Hori, partner, Manatt/Phelps/Phillips
  • Sonia Ransom, partner, Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Mallory

Focus on the inland Empire

  • Michael Bazdarich, president and founder, MB Economics
  • Scott K. Lunine, managing director, Sperry Van Ness

The Multi-Family Forecast Conference was sponsored by Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Mallory; Arden Realty, Inc; Chicago Title Company; California Real Estate Journal; CoStar Group; Ernst & Young LLP; Ervin, Cohen & Jessup LLP; Fidelity National Title Company; Fremont Investment & Loan; First Property Realty Group; George Smith Partners;; Highridge Partners; KeyBank Real Estate Capital; Los Angeles Times; Lowe Enterprises; Multi-Housing News; Pircher, Nichols & Meeks; RealFacts; SARES-REGIS Group, Summit Commercial; Real Estate Southern California; and

The Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA Anderson School of Management was founded in 1999 and is led by Chairman John Long, Director Walter Torous and Associate Director Stephen Cauley. Its mission is to undertake an innovative program of research, education, and professional development within the real estate industry. For more information visit

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