The Economic Impact of Commercial Real Estate

New commercial real estate development, and the ongoing operations of existing CRE buildings in the United States, had a vital impact on the U.S. economy in 2020, supporting 8 million jobs and contributing $1.01 trillion to U.S. GDP, according to a study released last month by the NAIOP Research Foundation.

The study broke out several key measures by sector – and demonstrate the impact of the pandemic:

  • Office construction expenditures totaled $38.8 billion in 2020, down 28.5% from 2019.
  • Retail construction totaled $11.7 billion in 2020, down 29.5% YOY. This was the fifth straight year of decline.
  • Warehouse construction outlays decreased slightly in 2020, down just 0.3% YOY.
  • Industrial (manufacturing) construction spending was hard hit, declining 29.5%.

The top five states in 2020, by development impact, were Texas, New York, Florida, California and Illinois.

This year, job growth is expected to improve, and GDP growth will make up some of what it lost in 2020. And NAIOP remains optimistic. “Many factors point to a commercial real estate rebound in 2021,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO. “We believe that while the pandemic has accelerated trends already progressing in real estate, we have a bright future.”

Source: century21.com

Fed sounds alarm on commercial real estate, business bankruptcy

The Federal Reserve warned of significant risks of business bankruptcies and steep drops in commercial real estate prices in a report published on Friday.

“Business leverage now stands near historical highs,” the central bank said in its semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. “Insolvency risks at small and medium-sized firms, as well as at some large firms, remain considerable.”

In part encouraged by government and Fed programs, businesses have taken on more debt over the past year as they’ve struggled to deal with the economic and financial fallout from COVID-19, including in some cases forced shutdowns.

Powell testimony

The Fed report, which provides lawmakers with an update on economic and financial developments and monetary policy, was published on the central bank’s website ahead of Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and the House Financial Services panel a day later.

In the report, the Fed voiced hopes of an end to the pandemic later this year, though it cautioned that pitfalls remained.

In particular, it said that commercial real estate prices “appear susceptible to sharp declines” from historically high levels. That could particularly prove to be the case if the level of distressed sales picks up or if the pandemic leads to longer-term declines in demand, it said.

Commercial real estate might be hit by a double-whammy after the pandemic, some economists say. An increase in people working from home could result in less demand for office space, while stepped-up online purchases could force more shutdowns of brick-and-mortar retailers and additional vacancies at shopping centers.

Source: nationalmortgagenews.com