An industry analysis by Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, and Calvin Schnure, senior VP of research and economic analysis of the The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, projects a rebound for Boston Metro commercial real estate and other markets affected by the pandemic.
Schnure and Yun made the case for near-term recovery during the “Real Estate Forecast Summit: Commercial Update Webinar” on March 10. Both agreed that historically high levels of consumer savings, combined with pent-up consumer demand and successful vaccine rollouts, could mean a spending spree in the months ahead. In turn, entertainment venues, restaurants, hospitality groups and retailers could see rebounding business in the second half of 2021.
Schnure remarked that “gateway cities” such as Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. experienced significant impact from work-from-home transitions, which emptied downtown office buildings. However, he predicts that work-from-home will be temporary for the most part. Many corporations are offering employees vaccination incentives and hybrid schedules to bring the majority of workers back to the office. This, combined with consumer spending rebounds and resurging business, should increase office space demand this summer.
Meanwhile, Yun predicted that would-be buyers who are frustrated by low home inventory will seek out larger or newer apartments. With savings rates up, and incomes increasing for some families, the multi-family sector could see relief on the horizon. Much depends on how well the pandemic is controlled in the weeks ahead.
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