Publications

- June 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 6

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The good, the bad and the ugly: The COVID-19 pandemic will have widely varying effects across property types

by Loretta Clodfelter

Real estate investment in first half 2020 divides into pre- and post-pandemic periods. In the before times, we were a decade into an economic expansion, with the U.S. unemployment rate at 3.5 percent, and real estate appeared to be positioned for another strong year.

But a global pandemic has completely changed everything, with far-reaching economic impacts and a tragic loss of life. And even as movement toward reopening the economy has begun, it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last or what it will take to put the economy back on its feet.

“We think a sharp, ‘V-shaped’ rebound in the second half of 2020 is unlikely,” says Kevin White, co-head of research and strategy, alternatives, at DWS. “Broad-based lockdowns will probably be relaxed as infection rates stabilize. But history shows that economies exhibit considerable momentum — both on the way up and on the way down — as labor, commercial, financial and global markets are mutually reinforcing

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