The 2020 year has finally come to an end, and many of it’s most poignant images – the mask mandates, the toilet paper shortages, the street protests, the quarantines, the home-schooling – will be etched into our memories forever. Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted almost every industry across the globe, and the real estate industry has been no exception. Truly, the pandemic has led to a significant shift in the way all Americans live, work, and do business, which has, in turn, drastically affected the various verticals in real estate. In this article, TalentWoo looks closely at the effects of the pandemic on different real estate sectors.
The pandemic has had little direct impact on land as an asset class. However, there have been some knock-on effects. For example, developers have put some land deals on hold, and land prices have been impacted by the wider economic slowdown. Nevertheless, land remains a crucial investment for real estate companies, and large firms such as Brookfield Asset Management, Blackstone Group, and DRA Advisors continue to invest heavily in land. Keep an eye out for farmland as a valuable commodity in the coming months and years.
The industrial sector has seen a significant increase in demand since the pandemic began. Just ask yourself, “How many things have I ordered off Amazon this week?” The surge in online shopping has led to a surge in demand for warehouse and distribution centers. Companies like Prologis, Duke Realty, and CBRE have been the key players in this space, and their revenues have remained strong. For instance, Prologis, the world’s largest owner of logistics real estate, reported revenues of $3.1 billion in Q3 2020, a 23% increase from the same period in the previous year.
This is where we run into the bad news. Obviously, due to stay-at-home mandates resulting from the pandemic, the commercial office space has been one of the hardest-hit real estate sectors. With remote work becoming the norm, companies have been looking to downsize their office space or terminate their leases entirely. This trend has left downtown metro centers feeling eerily abandoned like a scene straight out of a post-apocalyptic zombie movie. This has in turn led to a decline in rents, occupancy rates, and valuations. Major players in this space, such as CBRE, JLL, and Cushman & Wakefield, have all reported lower revenues in 2020 than in the previous year. We all hold our breath!
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mortgage industry, with record low interest rates and stay-at-home mandates driving a surge in mortgage refinancing. Everyone now wants an updated home office, a remodeled kitchen, a guest room or patio, a deck or a pool – anything to make the pain of staying in one location more tolerable. However, the pandemic has also led to increased delinquencies and defaults, particularly among lower-income households. Some of the leading mortgage companies, such as Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, have reported lower revenues and profits in 2020 than in the previous year. As long as interest rates stay low, these companies should be ok – at least for the next few years. Any raises in interest rates could prove disastrous.
The pandemic has had a mixed impact on the multifamily residential sector. On the one hand, the economic slowdown has led to increased vacancies and rent declines in some cities. On the other hand, the pandemic has led to an increased demand for rental properties in suburban areas. Major players in this space, such as Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities, and Camden Property Trust, have reported lower revenues in 2020 than in the previous year.
The pandemic has led to a surge in demand for single-family homes, as people look for more space and privacy. With stimulus checks coming in, fewer bills from dining out, and the ability to work from any city in the country, why not buy a new home? And that’s exactly what many Americans decided to do! Homebuilders such as D.R. Horton, Lennar Corporation, and PulteGroup have reported strong earnings in 2020, driven by higher home prices and increased demand.
Single-Family Rental Companies
If you can’t afford a home, you can still rent one. And during a pandemic when you need to socially distance, avoid crowded spaces (i.e. a shared elevator, lobby or hallway), and get a pet dog to ease the isolation you feel, a professionally managed rental home in the suburbs is the way to go! Single-family rental companies have also seen an increase in demand since the pandemic began, with people opting for more space and flexibility. Companies such as Invitation Homes, American Homes 4 Rent, and Tricon Residential have reported strong earnings in 2020, with Invitation Homes reporting a net income of $85 million in Q3 2020.
It’s also worth noting that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology in the real estate industry. Virtual property tours, online leasing, and contactless transactions have all become more prevalent, and companies that have invested in these technologies have been able to weather the pandemic better than those that have not.
As the industry continues to evolve, companies will need to adapt their strategies and embrace new technologies to remain competitive. This is where TalentWoo comes in. As a remote staffing and recruitment firm, we can help companies access a global talent pool and find the right candidates for their needs. Whether you’re looking for IT professionals to help you implement new technologies, marketing experts to help you reach new audiences, or leasing, construction, maintenance and property management staff to support your operations, TalentWoo can help. Keep us in mind when it’s time to start ramping up.
Here’s hoping to a better 2021!