Friday, September 07, 2007

Real Estate Conference

Cohen to address real estate conference
By Gerardo R. Partido Variety News Staff
September 7, 2007

DEPUTY Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs David B. Cohen will be one of the keynote speakers in the upcoming 4th Micronesia Real Estate Investment Conference to be held on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Leo Palace Hotel.

Cohen will talk about issues facing investors in Micronesia real estate, including the Guam military buildup and other events, according to W. Nicholas Captain, organizer of the event.

“I expect that David Cohen will address issues of real interest to all our delegates. All of us want to know more about the huge opportunities the military buildup will offer investors. The $15 billion in military construction will bring a lot of people to Guam who are all going to have to live somewhere. And the whole Micronesia region is obviously ripe for more development,” Captain said.

Cohen is also expected to address what governments can do to maximize their lands and allow for economic development in his speech, “Unlocking the Value of Real Estate.” “The leaders of Micronesia have some issues before them concerning policy in their regions. I think David Cohen’s speech will lay all of this out,” Captain said.

Captain, who is the president of the Captain Real Estate Group of Companies, said this year’s conference is especially relevant because the expansion of the military on Guam brings along with it many opportunities for real estate investment.

“With the anticipation of about 8,000 U.S. Marines, their 10,000 dependents and an estimated support population of 24,000 coming to Guam, there are many important issues that will affect a wide range of industries in Micronesia. The general military buildup already begins to offer a myriad of opportunities in the real estate investment field,” Captain said.

The biennial real estate conference provides delegates and sponsors a unique opportunity to hear experts, peers and industry professionals speak and share information about real estate investment and development in the Pacific Rim.

Other featured speakers include David Dix, chief executive officer and managing director of Creed Capital Management Australia Ltd. in Australia; Douglas Smith, managing director and head of Commercial Real Estate for Deutsche Bank in Japan; David L. Wickline, managing partner of Pacific Holdings Trust LLC of California; John Baldwin, principal of Bridge Capital of Saipan; and W. Nicholas Captain.

Real estate transactions have already increased on Guam last year in anticipation of the military expansion, with land transactions rising by 6 percent, apartment sales increasing by 25 percent, and condominium sales increasing by 28.9 percent.

Analysts attributed the real estate market’s improvement to “bottom of cycle” prices that were too low, pent-up demand, and deferred “move-up” acquisitions.

During the event, Captain said he will release the latest real estate statistics for Guam.

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