- March 1, 2018: Vol. 30, Number 3

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Economic clusters: Using economic clusters to better enhance real estate returns and manage risk

by Ron Kaiser

Imagine trying to choose the best places to invest in institutional-grade properties when you have 128 combined statistical areas (CSAs) to analyze. And, if you wanted to do it in a more granular and refined manner, you would focus in on core-based statistical areas (CBSAs), of which there are 955! Mind-boggling, indeed. There are simply too many different economic analyses and forecasts for any investor to efficiently and effectively evaluate. Even more difficult would be discerning the trends in such a sea of data points. A simplifying construct is obviously needed.

Fortunately, a number of published academic studies have been aimed at providing sensible groupings of metro areas, and our firm, Bailard, has polished and updated them. Since early 2016, the Bailard real estate team has worked with Robert “Bob” Hess, now a “retired” consultant, to freshen up his earlier work and take it to the next level. Hess and Bailard’s research team updated and renamed the econom

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