Page 5 - 2019 Colliers Forecast Book
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Colliers International | West Michigan  5

          A NOTE FROM


          By most accounts, our economy remains strong. Households are consuming, businesses are investing, manufacturers are
          producing, and government is spending. Confi dence surveys of both consumers and business-leaders remain near multi-decade
          highs. The stock market has been turbulent, and the Federal Reserve is charting its course; but for the most part, things are positive.

          West Michigan weathered the last downturn quite well as a market, with strong fundamentals and an entrepreneurial and
          philanthropic spirit that helped keep many industries afl oat. The nation is now in its second longest economic recovery in history,
          and West Michigan seems to be primed to ride the wave longer than most markets. However, although growth is still positive,
          it has started to slow its pace.

          Slower growth does not necessarily mean there won’t be opportunities. Functional obsolescence and the desire for amenities is
          likely to lead to the need for new space demand to meet changing offi ce tenant desires. Additional housing options will likely
          be met by repurposing old buildings.

          The retail and industrial sectors should continue to see development activity as they adapt to changes in consumer behavior, most
          notably e-commerce. Twenty-plus years of successful urban revitalization has amply illustrated the appeal and adaptability of
          older buildings, as well as our downtown’s geographical expansion in an evolving and growing community.

          Transaction activity was strong in 2018 despite a lack of available quality space. Creativity by tenants, landlords, investors,
          and advisors; as well as strong interest in the area, allowed the market to overcome most headwinds. Lack of skilled labor, high
          construction costs, tariff concerns, and rising interest rates will all be factors in 2019.

          No matter what occurs, investors and tenants will continue to take notice of West Michigan. According to one asset manager
          who responded to a national Urban Land Institute survey: “The key word for real estate’s future performance is transformation—in
          technology, in generational choices, in a reconfi guration of preferences, and in property types.”

          We feel West Michigan is positioned well for the year ahead, and we look forward to partnering with you in 2019!


          Duke Suwyn | CEO
          Colliers International | West Michigan
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