Report: Veteran Commercial Real Estate Pros Face Tougher Future

Texas and Florida will gain on New York and Chicago in commercial real estate job growth in 2009, according to a new report (PDF) from Cornell University and

Texas is neck-and-neck with New York, trailing by only one percent in commercial real estate job postings, reflecting the underlying strength of the Texas markets being fueled by the oil industry. Interestingly, New York City lost more ground in August, with only 11 finance jobs posted.

And the financial crisis isn’t helping matters, particularly for veteran commercial pros, including ones in Manhattan’s C-suites. The report dooms those who came up in the 1990s to obsolescence or, at the least, to a struggle to learn new skills.

The era of high leverage and cheap debt already seems so far away, and in its place we have returned to prehistoric creditbased debt products with rigorous underwriting based on conservative real estate fundamentals, low-loan-to-value structures, and the “R” word, recourse. This will necessitate a different breed of lender with deep real estate knowledge and credit skills. Alas, unless they can retool, many of the professionals who grew up in the high-flying debt capital markets era of the 90’s will not find a home in the age of restructure, lacking the skill set in demand today. [emphasis original]