- January 2010: Volume 22, Number 1

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Risky Business: Rethinking Risk Management After the Crisis

by Rachel Speirs

The most recent crisis in real estate, like previous crises, has prompted introspection among investors. Pension plans, and the real estate management companies they invest with, are taking a serious look at how they measure price and monitor real estate risk in hopes of better avoiding disaster in the future.

For many real estate investors, the years before 2007 were very good. So good in fact, that many investors began to believe the real estate market would be good forever. Then, as 2007 came to a close, the market took an abrupt turn for the worse. The real estate sector saw unprecedented value declines, massive volatility and correlations that caught many by surprise.

In the current environment, investors are questioning whether they completely understood the amount and types of risk they took on. There’s a sense among investors that undue levels of risk caused much of the current disaster and that perhaps the disaster — at least a disaster of this magnitude

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