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CMBA Conference Nadji and Bechtel

Uncertainty, Volatility and Cautious Optimism: The CMBA Western States Recap

The Aria Resort in Las Vegas was the scene of the 25th Annual Western States CREF Conference, hosted by the California Mortgage Bankers Association in early September, and while the mood was festive, the message was clear…volatility and uncertainty are a major concern in the commercial real estate world.

There were several panels covering market strategies, structured finance, technology and permanent debt, and many of the discussions were centered around rising interest rates and the possibility of a recession. Gary Bechtel, CEO of Red Oak Capital Holdings and the 2022 Western States Conference Chair sat on the structured finance panel, and also participated in a ConnectCRE Q&A, along with Bobby Khorshidi, President of Archway Capital and Vic Clark, Senior Managing Director of Lument, which you can see here.

The Keynote address was from Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari who talked of all things technical and highlighted the changes over the years in the gaming world, and Mary Ludgin Ph.D., Managing Director, Head of Global Research for Heitman gave an insightful breakdown of the economic outlook as the CRE world tackles some pretty intense volatility. She noted that industrial remains a strong sector, but that market is starting to soften while storage and medical offices are now drawing significant investment.

Adam S. Finkel, CCIM, Principal and Co-Founder of Tower Capital had some interesting insights after attending the CMBA Conference and speaking with more than 40 lenders. Finkel says that while most lender volumes are down, transactions are still getting done, though everyone is working harder to close deals. Heading into 2023, much attention will be focused on the Fed, and lenders will be cautious to see how things shake out over the next quarter or two.

The overall sentiment from the conference was cautious optimism. While the economic headwinds are substantial, deals are getting done, plenty of opportunities remain and there’s still a plethora of capital in the commercial real estate world.

Pictured: Marcus & Millichap CEO Hessam Nadji and Red Oak Capital CEO Gary Bechtel

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CMBA Western States CREF Conference

About Mark Nieto

Mark comes to ConnectCRE with an extensive background as a business and news reporter in San Francisco radio, as well as 35 years as a traffic reporter on several stations including KGO, KNBR, KCBS and KFRC. As a business reporter, Mark covered the tech world in Silicon Valley where he became familiar with real estate transactions in the hot Bay Area marketplace. He attended San Jose State University with a BA in Radio and TV Broadcasting and currently resides in the Lake Tahoe area where he gets to frequently enjoy all of his favorite activities: Golfing, Fishing, Hiking and Skiing.

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