Sam Zell Provides Insight at Real Estate Conference in Chicago

September 19, 2010

Chicago real estate investor Sam Zell believes that distressed properties are good investments these days.

The billionaire investor, who spoke at the BMO Capital Markets 5th Annual North American Real Estate Conference in Chicago this week, said his firm Equity International is investing in distressed debt including hotel mortgages and a broken condominium deal.

Sam Zell

Don’t get me wrong, Zell still thinks high-quality real estate is “intrinsically valuable,” but says there is an imbalance in the real estate investment market; a large amount of capital is trying to invest in a small inventory of high-end assets.

Other notable Zell insights:

*The economy will experience a slow recovery.

*The November election will be critical for business.

*New construction is at an all-time low but demand will return and even out with current supply.

*To justify constructing a new building in Chicago, you would have to get $45 per square foot in rent, while most buildings are around $28 per square foot.

*Brazil is the number place in the world to invest. Zell is now the second largest homebuilder in the Brazilian real estate market.

You can listen to all of Zell’s comments, along with those of Jonathan Litt of Land and Buildings, via webcasts from last week’s BMO Capital Markets real estate conference by visiting

About The Author


Read All Stories By Tracey


Leave a Comment