Whenever it comes, fund managers plan to prove their mettle on the downside
Being a real estate hedge fund manager may have seemed easy over the last few years as the real estate sector benefited from back-to-back double-digit gains in residential and commercial property values in many major metropolitan markets, from New York to San Diego.
But where the sector is headed next is anyone's guess. There has been no shortage of predictions that the bubble will eventually burst, and Hurricane Katrina has now thrown another wild card into the mix. Will hedge funds gobble up the distressed mortgage debt and home in on developments in the Gulf area? Will the Federal Reserve ease on its ramping up of interest rates in order to mitigate any potential blow to the economy, thus keeping real estate prices soaring?
Whatever the answers to those questions, the 20 or so dedicated U.S. real...