The COVID-19 pandemic was the leading concern among current and emerging issues expected to have the most significant impact on real estate for the foreseeable future.
According to their site:
” COVID-19 may be the greatest environmental experiment of our real estate lives. The change wrought by the virus and its aftermath will teach us about priorities, resilience, and demand in ways that we did not dare test before. The 2020-21 Top Ten Issues are an attempt to overlay this new world onto an already changing real estate environment.
In examining real estate markets, we must consider existing fragility, adaptability to new demands, and potential relevance to new markets. Demand will be defined by the extent to which this crisis leads us to abandon old habits and adopt new ones. The duration of the lockdown has been a factor, and so is the confidence with which we emerge. Key questions without answers include: Will we be willing to shop in crowds, sit in theatres, and live close together to the same extent that we did in January?
Two primary factors may drive the effect of this pandemic on real estate markets. One reduces demand. The other may increase it. Will real estate demand be reduced by the virtual office and a preference for home entertainment?
Will we insist on lower density wherever we go? Will social distancing habits persist, and require reduced density in airplanes, airports, stores, restaurants, theaters, offices, banks, and government buildings? This could require larger spaces and higher costs to accommodate the same functions.
Real estate is a lagging indicator. With the economy expected to take a few years to recover from the effects of COVID-19, our industry will show ripples for a few more.”