ULI survey says hotels show highest rate of return. Stephen Blank, senior resident fellow of finance with the Urban Land Institute, said 300 real estate investors and 150 business leaders surveyed by ULI see hotels as their best investment in terms of rate of return. As for a housing bubble, Blank says it's more a "bubblette." Blank also said mixed-use developments will stay strong.
Architectural billings index shows growth in market. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), a leading economic indicator of nonresidential construction activity, showed growth for the tenth consecutive month in October, according to the American Institute of Architects. The October ABI rating of 57.5 (any score above 50 indicates an increase) represents somewhat slower growth than the 60.5 score in September, but exceeds the 57.1 monthly average for 2005 (October 2004 ABI was 53.7). Firms that specialize in commercial/industrial projects reported the strongest billings increase.
Costliest part of Gulf Coast rebuilding yet to come. The federal government has spent or obligated through contracts more than $18 billion in Hurricane Katrina relief in just over two months. But the real big-ticket items will not come until months and years down the line as the government attempts to re-create a public infrastructure network.