Trying To Predict The Future Real Estate In The New Normal

Casey Stengel once said, “never make predictions, especially about the future.” I will temporarily ignore that wisdom. Nonetheless, the predictions that follow are pure speculation. The future of commercial real estate, at least for the remainder of 2020, may depend upon whether you consider your glass to be half empty or half full. If you are a “glass half empty” person, you will embrace the inevitable conclusion that the economy is already in a recession. As a result, some commercial transactions will get delayed or deferred, while others will not get done at all. As the recession continues, perhaps even worsens, many more landlords and tenants will be compelled to renegotiate the terms of their leases, particularly the payment of rent. Even with rent deferrals or reductions, many smaller businesses will not be able to survive. Many small to mid-size retail centers will see higher vacancies, making it difficult for owners to meet their debt obligations. Local government will not escape unscathed. With Pennsylvania construction activity in shutdown mode (at least for now), state and local government will see a dramatic drop in income from permit, inspection and impact fees, transfer taxes, and real estate tax revenue typically generated by new development. State and local government will need to identify more creative mechanisms for raising revenue. READ MORE 

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