Orange County Mayor Richard T. Crotty addressed a crowd of business and community leaders during a recent real estate panel presentation held at the UCF Executive Development Center in downtown Orlando.

More than 200 people attended “Repositioning Real Estate: Political and Economic Trends,” which was hosted by the University of Central Florida College of Business Administration’s Dr. P. Phillips Institute for Research and Education in Real Estate.

“I am pleased we had such an outstanding turnout for this inaugural presentation,” said Thomas L. Keon, dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. “The large participation confirms that people are interested in learning more about Central Florida’s real estate market.

“I would like to thank Mayor Richard T. Crotty, the moderators and the panelists for making this event such a success.”

Randy Anderson, UCF’s Howard Phillips Eminent Scholar Chair, and John Crossman, president of Crossman and Company, moderated the presentation. Panelists included Robert Carmichael, senior vice president of Key Bank; Paul Ellis, president of CNL Commercial Real Estate; and Cynthia Shelton, director of investment sales at Colliers International and past president of the Florida Association of Realtors

Attendees learned about the status of both residential and commercial real estate. With 516, 711 foreclosures in 2009, Florida ranks third in the nation. There was more than a 34 percent increase in foreclosures in the state from 2008 to 2009. However, there are some signs of improvement as inventory levels are decreasing and pending sales are on the rise.

Commercial real estate always trails behind the residential sector by 12 to 18 months, so the commercial market is not expected to rebound until late 2010 or in 2011. It is expected that the commercial real estate market in Florida will face significant challenges for the next few years.

To better prepare those wishing to achieve senior-level positions in the real estate industry, UCF’s College of Business Administration is offering a new graduate program in real estate. The Master of Science in Real Estate begins in June and will be taught in a professional format at the UCF Executive Development Center (EDC) in downtown Orlando.

For more information on the new graduate real estate program, contact or call 407-823-3622.

The Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate was established in 2005. Dr. Phillips Inc. committed $2.5 million, which combined with a state matching gift, created a $5 million endowment for the Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate. The endowment supports the Howard Phillips Eminent Scholar Chair in Real Estate, the Dr. P. Phillips Institute for Research and Education in Real Estate, and the Dr. P. Phillips scholarship program for real estate students.