- February 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 2

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A fine vintage: Will 2017 be a challenging vintage year for real estate funds?

by Jody Barhanovich

Have you ever walked into a wine shop and noticed one wine is significantly more expensive than another, and yet they appear to be the same wine from the same winery? Then you notice, although they look almost identical, they are actually from two different vintage years. A wine’s vintage year simply indicates which year the grapes were picked and produced. But why is there so much variation? Shouldn’t wine makers already have perfected their processes and procedures for making wine? Of course, they have, but what they cannot control is Mother Nature.

Weather has the biggest impact on the grapes produced in a particular vintage year. The weather affects everything about the wine made from those grapes, creating an imbalance among vintage years — some years are good, some years are bad. Similarly, the real estate market cycle, whether in expansion or contraction, has a huge impact on the performance of funds launched in any given year. If it is a particularly cold or wet

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