MIAMI, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A survey of some 200 real estate industry leaders, who gathered last Friday at Akerman Senterfitt's second annual U.S. Real Estate Summit, revealed an optimistic industry looking at opportunities in various sectors despite continued financing challenges.

Signifying a recovering industry, 77 percent of respondents indicated their outlook for the market in 2011 was more optimistic than it was in 2010. In addition, a common theme at the Akerman Summit was access to capital and other continued financing challenges for the industry, as banks continue to work through significant issues in their real estate portfolios. When asked to rank where commercial real estate debt and/or equity will come from in 2011, respondents indicated that a significant amount would come from private equity, REITs, and foreign investment. Notably, only 10 percent of respondents saw a significant amount from banks and 25 percent of respondents believed a significant amount of financing to come from pension funds.

Furthermore, 71 percent predicted that multifamily property would be the most active market sector in 2011, far more than the second and third chosen sectors, hospitality and industrial, at 26 and 27 percent respectively. Shifting capitalization rates, a consistent theme at the day-long summit, also proved to be an important issue for respondents, with 44 percent forecasting decreased cap rates in the hospitality and multifamily sectors. On average, 75 percent of respondents predicted a decrease or no change to cap rates across all industry sectors.

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