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Few Real Estate Companies Plan to Hire in Next Six Months

November 5, 2009

In a survey of real estate CFOs and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, only 12 percent say their company will increase hiring in the next six months and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) plan to reduce bonuses. At the same time, while two-thirds (64 percent) believe the U.S. economy will improve; one-quarter (24 percent) expect their organization’s financial prospects to get worse during the same time period – making real estate one of the most optimistic industries on the national economy, but also one of the most pessimistic about their own industry’s outlook.

In addition to bonuses, real estate companies are also reducing other employee benefits – 42 percent are reducing health care benefits; 32 percent are reducing 401(k) matches.

More than half (58 percent) of the real estate companies surveyed said they are reducing salary raises and another half are reducing stock options and other forms of equity-based compensation.

In terms of pricing pressure, they are most concerned about the cost of employee benefits (79 percent), such as health care and pension costs.

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