Hosts: Eden Cai (CEO) and Eugene Xu (CIO)
On December 1, 2023, GardenStar Group hosted its annual investor conference titled “2024 Global Capital Markets and U.S. Real Estate Investment Trends” at The Harvard Club in New York City. Hosted by Eden Cai, CEO and Co-Founder, alongside Eugene Xu, CIO and Co-Founder, the conference gathered leading minds in finance and real estate to discuss critical trends and strategies in global capital markets and U.S. real estate.
Keynote Speakers and Topics:
Henry Mo, Head of Market Strategy at Corebridge Financial: Focused on the evolving landscape of global capital markets, Mo emphasized the increasing significance of non-banking financial institutions. He highlighted how these institutions have filled a crucial gap in lending, especially post-2008 financial crisis, significantly contributing to the diversification and resilience of the financial sector.
Eddie Zhao, Associate Professor of Finance, UMass Boston: Presented an insightful analysis of U.S. real estate trends. Zhao noted the diverging trend between commercial real estate and residential real estate markets in the U.S. driven by the post-COVID “Work-from-Home” trend. More Americans are moving to Sunbelt states with ample employment opportunities and looking for more home space with a backyard.
Evan Linkner, Principal at Ackman-Ziff: Explored U.S. real estate investment strategies in the current global economic context. Linkner discussed the history, the trend, the markets, and the future of the build-to-rent (BTR) sector, emphasizing the significant role BTR plays as an emerging and promising residential real estate asset class.
Highlights of the Conference:
The U.S. Economy: The conference presented a cautiously optimistic view of the U.S. economy. Analysis of recent GDP growth trends suggests a potential soft landing in 2024 and Fed interest rate adjustment amid ongoing economic opportunities and challenges.
Labor Market Analysis: The strength and potential of the U.S. labor market were a key focus. Recent data shows a robust job market, with unemployment rates at historic lows, though there remains room for improvement in wage growth and labor participation rates.
Inflation Across Sectors: A detailed discussion on inflation revealed sector-specific challenges. The manufacturing sector, for instance, has seen less inflationary pressure compared to the service sector, indicating the need for targeted economic policies.
Real Estate Investment Implications: The speakers highlighted the shortage of U.S. residential houses and the continuing rise in single-family housing rental prices. Build-to-Rent provides an innovative solution to solve the U.S. residential housing shortage. This shift underscores the growing investment opportunities in BTR residential real estate, particularly in Sunbelt market suburban areas.
Global Perception of the U.S. Residential Real Estate Market as a Safe Haven: Amid global economic uncertainties, the U.S. residential real estate market continues to be viewed as a safe haven for global investors. This sentiment is bolstered by the country’s strong legal and political framework, stable economy, flexible housing market, supply and demand imbalances, and inflation. These factors collectively contribute to the dynamic and evolving nature of the U.S. real estate market.
Conclusion by CEO Eden Cai:
Eden Cai concluded the conference with an update on the company’s investment and emphasized the firm’s commitment to its Sunbelt market business plan. This affirmation underlined the company’s resilience and adaptability in navigating the dynamic financial landscape.
GardenStar 2023 Annual Investors Conference at the Harvard Club provided a platform for insightful discussions, reflecting the company’s dedication to staying informed and proactive in the face of evolving market trends and investment opportunities.