With COVID-19 vaccines currently being rolled out, an end to the pandemic is finally in sight, and with it a return to normal, particularly in the world of real estate. Still, it is all but certain that the commercial real estate market itself will not look the same again.
Within the office space market, companies are already contemplating reducing their overall square footage on expectations that many who shifted to working from home at the start of the pandemic will continue to do so after it’s over. They are also re-examining how their employees functionally use office space and re-calibrating their expectations and needs-based not only on having fewer workers in the office but on having people more spaced apart, and working in areas that are more transient and less permanent.
On the residential side, residential real estate will likely continue to favor locations that aren’t necessarily in dense urban settings, and properties that provide more space for both working from and living at home. That means cities like New York and San Francisco will continue to see declines in both property values as well as rents per square foot, while sunbelt cities like Phoenix, Austin, and even Las Vegas and their surrounding suburbs will continue to grow.
On the travel and leisure side, expectations are that Las Vegas and other entertainment centers will come back, though not necessarily in the same way as before – with fewer large-scale conferences and events. Overall, the post-vaccine real estate landscape will look very different than what it looked like pre-pandemic.
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