COVID-19 News Round-up for September 4

Credit: Gowling WLG

Economic News 
Pandemic Exposes Stress in Commercial Property Financing 
The severity of the COVID-19 crisis has revealed extreme stresses in one of its primary sources of commercial property financing; the $1.4T market for commercial mortgage-backed securities. “I don’t think anyone foresaw the devastation that COVID would wreak on commercial real estate and the CMBS market,” says Lea Overby, an analyst at Wells Fargo who has covered the sector for almost two decades. (Source: Financial Times) 
A Suburban Shift in Homebuilding 
Evidence of a suburban shift for consumer home buying preferences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in the second quarter NAHB Home Building Geography Index. The HBGI is a quarterly measurement of building conditions across the country and uses county-level information about single- and multifamily permits to gauge housing construction growth in various urban and rural regions. (Source: NAHBNow) 
Wickenburg Home Sales Steady 
Despite some economic unrest associated with COVID-19, Wickenburg has sustained a steady home sales market. According to Tinzie Realty‘s Designated Broker and Owner Shanna Grossman, “The Wickenburg real estate market is strong, and home sales are brisk. When a home is priced correctly, it will generally sell quickly and often with multiple offers.” (Source: Wickenburg Sun) 
Renters at Small Apartment Buildings Struggle 
The majority of residents kept paying rent this summer at larger apartment communities – despite the economic crisis caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus. But smaller apartment properties typically do not have professional management companies and are not included in the data that shows renters are still paying. Struggling renters may have received a bit of a lifeline, however, with an announcement of a four-month pause on eviction hearings for Americans below certain income thresholds. (Source: National Real Estate Investor) 
Cannabis Industry Doing Well in Pandemic 
The cannabis industry is weathering the COVID-19 pandemic much better than expected and is even thriving in some states like California that declared cannabis sellers an “essential” business, reports Marijuana Business Daily. BDS Analytics data also found cannabis dispensaries are seeing double-digit increases in sales, even after the $600 expanded federal unemployment benefit expired this summer. This is a trend that’s likely to continue after COVID-19 is long gone, according to Marijuana Business Daily. (Source: National Real Estate Investor) 
Phoenix Most Robust Condo Market 
Arizona experienced a serious COVID-19 caseload spike in June and July, yet the condominium market conditions remained healthy. Of eight markets covered in a recent report, Phoenix metro was reported as the most robust. (Source: Polaris Pacific) 

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