UC Cracks Open Its Real Estate Crystal Ball

ForeGround screenshot

ForeGround screenshot

There’s no shortage of real estate experts in Chicago.  From automates services like Zillow’ Zestimate to high-priced consultants that pick apart every detail of a transaction to make sure you make bank.

Another new service has launched in Chicago, and not only is it from Chicago, it’s from the University of Chicago.

Unlike so many real estate consulting services, this one is manned by actual people, not just computers plugging in the same formula developed in suburban Seattle and hoping it works in Logan Square.

We’re not real estate people, so a lot of this is over our heads.  But we’re happy to have a local organization take a leadership role in real estate, hopefully on a national scale.  Read the press release below for more information.

NORC at the University of Chicago Announces Foreground, A Forecasting Service for the Commercial Real Estate Sector

The independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago announces the launch of ForeGround, a subscription-based service that provides forecasts and highly personalized strategic advice on commercial real estate investment trends and opportunities in dozens of major U.S. metropolitan areas.

ForeGround is developed by NORC’s Commercial Real Estate Economics group, a team of veteran economists specializing in research on investment trends across every major property type, from industrial to retail to office and multifamily. The group combines its decades of experience with NORC’s 75-year history as one of the nation’s foremost survey and data analytics organizations to offer its clients objective, scientifically rigorous, and transparent forecasts and analysis.

“One of the most important sectors of the U.S. economy is commercial real estate,” said Dan Gaylin, president and CEO of NORC. “Our decision to form the Commercial Real Estate Economics group and establish ForeGround as its flagship service brings our 75-year-long commitment to the highest standards of research quality, scientific rigor, and transparency to those engaged in commercial real estate.”

“The need for clear, accurate, actionable insight for those in the data-rich commercial real estate sector is more important than ever before,” said Jon Southard, chief economist of ForeGround and vice president of the Commercial Real Estate Economics group at NORC.

Southard says the new service builds the decision-making capacity of the institutional investor by offering three primary advantages:

  • Grounded in science, its research and analysis captures the core drivers behind economic data trends and translates that information into actionable advice on commercial real estate investments.
    Built first and foremost for the research professional, the service is committed to unprecedented levels of transparency in its data and analysis so clients can fully understand how forecasts were developed.
  • As a unit of NORC, the ForeGround team has no financial ties to the commercial real estate sector beyond the services provided to its clients.
  • Through the hub ForeGroundresearch.org, subscribers will have access to forecasts and research that will enable them to identify new investment opportunities, anticipate changes in the commercial real estate market, more fully understand how an individual property fits into the overall market, and ultimately maximize their investments while minimizing risk.

ForeGround’s online features allow subscribers to:

  • Forecast demand and pricing across every sector in dozens of the most popular metropolitan areas for investment.
  • Customize charts and graphs based on their research questions.
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends through blog posts, analysis, and papers.
  • Connect to peers through one-of-a-kind social features, leveraging the power of an online research community.

In addition, ForeGround subscribers will benefit from one-on-one consultation and more finely tuned individual market analysis from the expert economists developing the forecasts.

About the ForeGround Team

The ForeGround team has a 20-year track record producing accurate market insights for the largest investment managers in the United States. Led by chief economist Jon Southard, the team features a dedicated economist for each major commercial real estate sector. Southard previously was a founding employee at Torto Wheaton Research (CBRE Econometric Advisors), where he developed market forecasts in the office, industrial, retail, multi-housing, and hotel sectors, as well as Commercial Mortgage Metrics, a product in partnership with Moody’s Investor Services to analyze risk in commercial mortgage portfolios.

The ForeGround team is also supported by a team of NORC senior statisticians, economists, and data analysts.

About NORC

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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