Thinking Ahead: COVID-19’s Long- and Short-Term Effects on Real Estate

March 25, 2020
Roofer at sunset
By sculpies

Right now, builders are confronting supply shortages and drops in demand as the coronavirus has brought many American’s daily lives to a grinding halt. But Brad Hunter, the managing director at RCLCO, says that builders must confront these immediate challenges while also thinking about what lies ahead. From new fiscal policy, the stock market’s long-term impact on consumer spending, and the virus’ possible resurgence later in the year, keeping the big picture in mind can help builders take steps today that will better prepare them for the coronavirus’ future blows.

The real estate industry is being clobbered by the coronavirus, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. The effects on real estate will vary by sector and market, and the extent of the effects will depend upon the duration of the economic shutdown.

The sectors of real estate that have been hit hardest so far are hotels, restaurants, bars and other entertainment retail (particularly in tourist-driven areas) followed closely by retail and housing (particularly second-home and luxury homes).

Supplies that the builders and developers need are being interrupted more and more as workers stay home, and due to business shutdowns, quarantines and curfews. Huge numbers of layoffs will lead to further contraction in consumer spending, starting a downward spiral of economic activity. Together, these forces are already pushing the economy into recession.

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