While Commercial Real Estate Falters, The Single-Family Market Is Booming Amid Pandemic | Paper Source Online

Originally published by Forbes | November 20, 2020

Brokers and agents all agree, they have not seen a better year.

Urban Land Institute and PwC’s latest real estate trends forecast is here. ULI and PwC’s 2021 Emerging Trends in Real Estate offers deep dives and insights into all sectors of the U.S. and Canadian real estate markets. It’s not surprising retail, office, multi-family and commercial markets have felt the far-reaching negative impact of the pandemic.

Conversely, the residential sector is on fire around the country. Brokers and agents all agree, they have not seen a better year. “In my 16 years in the real estate business this is the busiest I’ve ever been,” notes Carl Hawthorne, associate broker at Atlanta Communities in Atlanta Georgia. “There are four to five offers for a home as soon as it’s on the market.”

From the super sunbelt cities of Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston to Phoenix, San Antonio, and Tampa/St. Petersburg the perfect storm of historically low-interest rates, continued demand for suburban single-family homes, and families realizing their current housing is no longer working has fueled the market. “The data shows the single-family market continues to be on fire,” said Anita Kramer one of the forecasts’ authors and Senior Vice President, ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate.

An entire section in the report titled, “The Great American Move” explains the market dynamics. “A significant single-family-housing market trend emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic is “the Great American Move.” People (and businesses) are moving in all sorts of ways—to different geographies, from denser cities to the suburbs, from an apartment to a home, and, for some, back “home” to live with family members. There is no better evidence of the Great American Move than the booming single-family-housing markets—especially in the more attainably priced areas of the United States. Some observers argue that large events, like a pandemic, do not create new trends but rather accelerate existing ones. That certainly seems to be the case with housing today. The “move” was occurring prior to the pandemic, already spurred by geographic, demographic, and consumer shifts in the United States.”

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