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Can Houston’s Real Estate Market Weather the National Storm? UH’s Barton Smith Offers a Forecast in Upcoming Symposium

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May 5, 2008-Houston-
As the country continues to struggle with a severe economic slump, can Houstonians escape the worst of the national credit crunch associated with the collapse in the sub-prime mortgage market?

Noted economist Barton Smith, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting (IRF) at the University of Houston, will address that and related issues in his annual symposium focusing on real estate. This year’s event, “Recession and Regional Real Estate – Links and Disconnects,” takes place Thursday, May 8, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown. The event is sold out.

In his presentation, Smith will contrast the differences in the performances of the national and regional economies and real estate markets. He will also provide details of the IRF’s analysis of home prices by location and type of property and compare them with the performance of home prices elsewhere in the country.

While the nation’s woes have so far been less evident in Houston, many Houstonians are painfully aware of rising gasoline prices and will certainly feel the pinch of high air conditioning costs this summer, Smith says. He will discuss the likely duration of the current national economic malaise, its implications to real estate in general, and whether Houston’s real estate markets will continue to weather the storm much better than most other large U.S. cities. Key to that discussion will be the question of whether public policy now being pursued will ameliorate the current credit crisis or make it worse.

More information about the IRF: http://www.uh.edu/irf/.

Prior to his presentation, Smith will be available for one-on-on media interviews from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

WHAT: Symposium: “Recession and Regional Real Estate: Links and Disconnects”
WHO: Barton Smith, UH professor of economics and director of the UH Institute for Regional Forecasting
WHEN: Thursday, May 8
Media availability: 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Presentation: 12:15 to 1:30 p.m
WHERE: Imperial Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Hotel Downtown, 1200 Louisiana St.

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