While he doesn't foresee a surge in merger-and-acquisition activity, increased stock values could provide the currency to purchase "the right properties," said Don Wood, president and CEO of Federal Realty Investment Trust. Wood is more optimistic regarding the enhanced liquidity in the public markets and the stabilization of the retail real estate segment. "If anything, the recession has taught us that you have to look at this stuff over the long term and over the long term you really need higher quality real estate," he said.

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