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The U.S. economy and housing sectors are expected to continue to grow, but that growth is likely to be slower than previously expected, according to a survey conducted by U.S.-based Urban Land Institute.

The results of the survey, conveyed in the latest edition of ULI Real Estate Consensus Forecast, reveal that the real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 2.0% in 2012, 2.0% in 2013, and 2.9% by 2014, with the unemployment rate for the same time have been pegged at 8.1%, 7.8% and 7.0% for the same period.

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"These forecasts are down considerably from the spring 2012 forecast, which forecast the GDP would grow by 3.0% in 2013," says Dean Schwanke, executive director, ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, Washington, D.C.

The prediction, he adds, diverges from the previous forecast in that "it is less optimistic about the economy and the performance of commercial real estate and more optimistic regarding the single-family housing sector."

Commercial property transaction volume is expected to increase by 21% in 2013, down from 50% forecast in the spring. Most real estate projections, said Schwanke, are down 10-20% from six months ago.

"Institutional real estate and REITs are expected to provide returns ranging from 8.5% to 15% over the next three years, that's pretty good returns," he says. "Single family housing starts are expected to increase by 100,000 units in 2012 and 145,000 units in 2013 while home prices are expected to rise 3.2% in 2012 and 3.9% in 2013."

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The report says commercial real estate transaction volume, having bounced back from the lows of 2009 and is stabilizing. "Volume is expected to decline slightly from $227 billion in 2011 to $223 billion in 2012, before increasing to $250 billion in 2013 and $275 billion in 2014," says Schwanke.

Issuance of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), a key source of financing for commercial real estate, is also expected to increase – first marginally from $33 billion in 2011 to $35 billion in 2012, and later more meaningfully to $45 billion in 2013, and $60 billion in 2014.

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Originally published on Advisor.ca