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  • Writer's pictureYan Hazan

Trump’s economics & Houston economics

Ric Campo views President Donald Trump’s economic policies through both a positive and negative lense.

The chairman and CEO of Houston-based Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT) told analysts during a recent earnings call that Trump’s pro-growth policies, if implemented, would be “great for our business.”

Ric Campo is the chairman and CEO of Camden Property Trust.


However, Campo said he is concerned that those pro-growth policies might be “offset by an administration that tweets in the middle of the night.”

“If pro-growth policies are implemented, it’s great for our business,” Campo said. “The bad thing is if it doesn’t get implemented and something causes our economy to go off the edge.”

Campo, who has directed Camden Property Trust to sell $1.2 billion worth of apartments in recent years to pay down its debts, said he is uncertain about the economy under the Trump administration. Campo fears that after years of a U.S. economic recovery from the housing crash, there could be an impending recession.

“The biggest negative is uncertainty,” Campo said. “Clearly, the stock market has rallied big time (after Trump’s election) thinking things will be good. But it’s the unknown that’s keeping us at bay about the world. We will have to see more cards played.”

Campo said Trump’s controversial trade and immigration policies could have a major impact on apartment developers’ ability to find workers.

“Immigration definitely has a positive effect on household formation. Certainly there is an immigrant population who rents apartments,” Campo said. “But even if you close the borders and never let anyone in, it won’t have a major effect on apartments in the short term.

“The bigger impact is wage pressure and the ability to find qualified workers,” Campo continued. “The challenge is we don’t have enough qualified workers who live here.”

Economists and multifamily experts at a recent Houston Apartment Association “State of the Industry” breakfast echoed Campo’s concerns about Trump’s trade and immigration policies.

“Trade is important to us. Immigration is important to us,” said Bruce McClenny, president of Houston-based Apartment Data Services. “If you restrict that, it seems to be less positive.”

The corporate housing industry is also concerned from the new immigration policies due if Trump administration will ease the tax burden it can balance the financial part of the business furnished apartments providers in Houston enjoying a big range of diversity and hosting for short and long term residents from all over the world

The free flow of goods, services and skills is one of the most universally supported principles in economics,” said Jesse Thompson, a business economist with the Houston branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “We import a lot of skills in terms of craft labor to Ph.D researchers. We are a highly international city. A huge part of our capital is tied to that. Anything against that could be a detriment to the region.”

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