TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A revival in the U.S. real estate market, key to a recovery in the world economy, should begin by next spring, property mogul Sam Zell told an Israeli business conference on Sunday.
"I believe that in a country that continues to grow and where the population continues to grow, we will see the first signs of equilibrium in the housing market in the spring of 2009 and I will expect by spring 2010 the housing market in the U.S. will look a lot better," Zell said.
Zell is the owner of Tribune Co, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week.
He declined to comment on his plans to sell the Chicago Cubs baseball team and its Wrigley Field stadium.
Zell said that with the U.S. population continuing to grow and with fewer than 600,000 building starts in 2008, over a million fewer than in each of the past 10 years, demand for houses would soon rise.
He added that after the U.S. housing market begins to stabilize over the next 12 months growth would return to other markets, as the balance of supply and demand evened out "and the staggering amount of fiscal stimulation that has been enacted around the world will have its impact."
Zell said he currently saw four global areas with a chance for investments because demand was continuing -- Brazil, China, the Middle East, and parts of eastern Europe.
"The have growth, they have political stability, they have natural resources ... and a relatively low cost of entry today," he said.
He added that the crisis was also in part due to hasty decisions being taken in the marketplace.
"We are living through our first Blackberry recession where, literally, information is instantly disseminated around the world and people, in effect, respond to it, perhaps, often without any particular caution or attention."
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