The Pension Real Estate Association held its Annual Institutional Investor Conference in Boston on October 19-20. Here are 12 takeaways and observations from the event:

Today’s economic conditions are confusing; each data release seems to tell a different story. In the long run, the economy needs to operate at below-trend growth to keep inflation in check.

Globalization is out of fashion and contributing to inflationary pressure. Historically, trade has raised the U.S. standard of living.

Allocations to real estate remain consistent at around 8%-10% for institutional investors. Private wealth skews higher, reaching 12%-15%.

Debt strategies can fall into private credit or real estate. ‘Higher for longer’ interest rates were a theme.

Panelists expect values to decline another 10% on average, as transaction figures in NCREIF’s NPI are below book value.

Redemption queues represent about 15% of ODCE. Expectations are that these queues will go down as valuations align.

Investors see opportunities in broken capital stacks, and flexibility within the capital stack offers the best plays today.

AI will drive tremendous needs for power, estimated at 3x today’s data center needs. Demand will continue to outpace supply in the near term.

More data was created in the past three years than ever before. This trend is expected to hold over the next three years.

XBI, the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF, was trading at sub-70, a 52-week low. It peaked near 170 in early 2021. The industry is cyclical.

Demographics paint a continued strong picture of life sciences. By 2030, 170 million Americans will have a chronic medical condition.

The technology used by today’s life sciences companies is better than ever. Computing power, like AI, speeds up cycles and leads to better discovery.