by Joseph R. Ridolfi, President/CEO

As we reflect back on the state of the economic picture for 2010 through the first quarter of 2011 economists tell us that the economy is improving, albeit slowly. There may be some credibility to their prognostication. However, the economy nationally is a mixed bag, particularly in warm weather states such as Florida, Arizona, and California to name a few, where they are experiencing a glut of real estate properties on the market for sale at depressed prices. Many properties are under water relative to the properties’ current value with a mortgage greater than its value in today’s market.

The current unemployment rate nationally is twice as much today as we have historically experienced in better times, and is now stagnating growth in the economy. Additionally, government is also attempting to reinvent itself by reducing the government work force at all levels, including wages and benefit packages. These initiatives will result in reduced services. Presently, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut in the northeast are experiencing major shortfalls in revenue to effectively operate government at all levels.

With all these and other negative factors affecting today’s economic vitality, one of the bright spots is the healthcare industry in general. It continues to expand operations into suburban locations to follow their patients’ relocation from the cities that will ultimately require their services. With the graying of the population, people are living longer and health care is a primary concern of everyone. Also, the advent of the Internet, computers, cellular phones, iPhones, Ipads, smart phones, flat screen TVs, and the like have revolutionized the electronic industry around the world and the way corporations, industries, and individuals do business every day. Electronic gadgets today are selling quite well in a so-called down economy.

The residential real estate market in the local region continues to be sluggish, while the commercial real estate market in the central New Jersey region is showing signs of increased activity. There are a number of good commercial and investment properties available at attractive prices on the market creating a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to purchase or lease for their operations. Retailers continue to actively seek prime high profile commercial real estate locations for their operations to enhance their market share at attractive prices. Investors are also diligently pursuing investment properties with a good cash flow. Developers are also actively seeking sites for banks, pharmacies, restaurants and food chains in general to name a few.

In conclusion, although the economy has a long way to go to rebound to a greater level of economic prosperity, the local economy is showing some early signs with some degree of recovery that hopefully will continue and benefit everyone in the region.

Joseph R. Ridolfi & Associates is a 40-year-old commercial real estate company specializing in the sales, leasing, tenant representation, investment properties, and development land sites of commercial, office and industrial properties in the central New Jersey Commercial Real Estate Marketplace.

For comments or questions, the writer, Joseph R. Ridolfi, Broker/Owner, can be reached at 609-581-4848 or email

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