Research - OCTOBER 15, 2020

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COVID-19 heightens desirability of lower density areas for real estate

by Andrea Zander

COVID-19 has heightened the desirability of lower density areas for both residential and commercial real estate, with interest concentrated in the Sunbelt markets, according to Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC US in its Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2021 report. Cost-conscious companies will gravitate toward cities that are business-friendly and low cost with large, growing workforces. Raleigh/Durham, N.C., for example, is nicknamed the “Bay Area of the East Coast,” due to a surge in technology jobs and the area’s reputation as an education mecca.

Homebuyers will look for suburban locations with low taxes, affordable housing, auto-oriented transportation, and good job prospects. While growth in the suburbs has been a consistent trend since this report first predicted it five years ago, greater family formation among millennials and flexible work-from-home policies are boosting this shift.

Social unrest and protests in cities across the coun

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