02/01/2017 | by
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The University of Chicago moved into first place at the end of the second quarter of the 2016 Real Confidence University Challenge, a year-long competition that ends in June.

Sponsored by NAREIT, Altus Group and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF), the competition features 32 university teams attempting to invest $1 billion in a variety of commercial real estate selections.

The University of Chicago team’s Mortgage REIT investment produced a 2.14 percent return for the quarter. That raised the team’s total return up to 9.14 percent after two quarters.

The competition will give away a total of $50,000 in prizes.

Brigham Young University claimed the top private quarterly return of 3.35 percent for the second quarter.  The University of Miami posted the highest public return, 2.39 percent, for the same period.

Of the 32 university holdings, 19 posted negative returns in the second quarter. The University of Connecticut, which had held the top spot after the first quarter, dropped to eighth overall by the end of the second quarter.

“The numbers definitely slowed down. Right now, we’re at a very mature level within the commercial real estate cycle,” said Charles DiRocco, director of research at Altus.

NAREIT, Altus and NCREIF are also sponsoring the 2017 Real Confidence University Challenge, which officially started on Jan. 1 and will run on a calendar year schedule. The competition includes teams from 38 universities.