At the fall meeting of the Urban Land Institute, the Pandemic was a top of discussion. Here are some emerging trends that were identified:
Office Re-invention: Since "work from home" is becoming ever more popular, it looks like office workspaces may be changing to meet current needs. Satellite offices, collaborative spaces, shared workspaces will offer options for a multitude of companies.
Moving South. Affordability is the buzz word. The South remains one of the more affordable areas of the country. With "work from home" trending, employees are no longer restricted by their commute.
Urban come back. Experts believe that major cities will reemerge as urban hubs. It will take some time but the lure of entertainment, finance, technology, and education will bring people back. Adding more parks and outdoor areas will also help improve city living.
Retail vacancies. I miss doing my retail therapy but I have to say, online shopping makes life a lot easier and I think it's here to stay. Large retail centers may downsize and we are already seeing some large reducing their footprint.
State and local fiscal issues. We get weekly updates from the Chamber of Commerce and it is clear that every town in our area has suffered from the Pandemic. Tourism and hospitality are an essential part of our economy so sales tax and transit tax have had a huge impact on city financials. When money falls short, projects get put on hold. Expect delays or cancelations of infrastructure projects.
Safety and health concerns in buildings. Health and safety concerns will remain a top concern for companies including hotels, office buildings, and restaurants. Clean buildings, touchless entry, touchless sinks and contract tracing apps will become common place.
Affordable housing solutions. Finding solutions to housing issues is a priority for every community. Some ideas that might work: expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Section 8 voucher program and a really innovative idea.....possible conversion of surplus hospitality, office, and retail space into residential uses. That makes a lot of sense as more people work from home!
Focus on diversity, inclusion. The goal is to end racial inequality by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Top priority is find ways to develop underserved communities. There is much to do!
Source: Realtor Magazine, October 15 8 Real Estate Trends Emerging from the Pandemic