The rearview mirror: How to mitigate risk when predictive models are unclear and traditional benchmarks are suspect
Everyone knows this old Irish joke. A tourist pulls over his car on a winding country road and asks a local, “Is this the road to Dublin?”
“Well,” replies the local, “if I were going to Dublin, I wouldn’t start from here.”
Right now, the outlook for economies and real estate markets seems particularly obscure. Many real estate investors and tenants probably agree with the local yokel, better not to start from here.
How did we get here? The rearview mirror is the place to look.
The legacy of the 2008 global financial crisis was unprecedented low (even negative) interest rates engineered by central banks and, surprisingly, a steady decline in consumer price inflation rates; rates that remained low in many countries for a decade or more. This combination of events ignited an asset price cycle, especially in real estate markets. The economic legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic (2019–2022) has been almost the reverse — a spike in inflation rates