A Tale of Two Real Estate Markets

Hotels, retail, and office properties, along with renters, have been ravaged by the economic downturn of the pandemic. Meanwhile home sales are booming as people with money in the bank take advantage of low interest rates to upgrade.

1 minute read

July 28, 2020, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Washington D.C. Stores

Ted Eytan / Flickr

"The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just ravaged hotel and retail properties. The office market has taken its biggest hit in almost two decades from the virus," reports Steven Brown.

"During the second quarter, net nationwide office leasing dropped by 21.5 million square feet — the most substantial slide since Great Recession [sic], according to a new report by commercial property firm CBRE."

From the residential side of the market, Heather Long reports on an "insane" market, defined by booming sales on the homebuying market and the threat of evictions for renters. 

"Homes sold nationwide in April, May and June at annualized rate of 15 million, according to seasonally-adjusted data released last week by the Commerce Department and National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, 12.6 million renters say they were unable to pay rent last month, according to the latest Household Pulse survey from the U.S. Census," writes Long.

"Homes sales are booming, because Americans who have savings, stable jobs and good credit scores are taking advantage of the cheapest mortgage rates on record to bargain shop for larger homes," explains Long. "New mortgage applications just hit a level not seen since 2008. Sales of previously owned homes, like the one Dietsche listed in central Pennsylvania, surged a record-setting 20.7 percent in June. Sales of new homes jumped 13.8 percent last month, well above experts’ forecasts."

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