COVID-19 Trends and Thoughts

Photo by Lucas Davies via Unsplash

As we live through coronavirus, many are speculating as to what’s next for the Seattle commercial real estate market, and what the long-term ramifications will be of the pandemic.

Over the past week, we’ve noticed the following social and microeconomic trends:

1. Drive-thru and takeout food experiences dramatically improve. In the past, we felt guilty or lazy for using these services. Will restauranteurs look to expand these user experiences moving forward?

2. Paradigms around working from home and remote education shift. The traditional thinking was that grinding out long hours in the office was necessary for productivity and career advancement. Now that we’re seeing what is truly possible working from home, do we expect more flexibility from employers and educators over time? How could that impact real estate?

3. More people are reaching out to loved ones. Will we stop taking our families for granted and find better ways to engage virtually?

4. Sentiment around the need for a global coordinated response network becomes apparent, essential and turns more urgent. How does this shape our politics moving forward?

5. People value educators, health care providers, and first responders like never before. Will payment and incentive structures change moving forward?

6. Perceptions around vaccines change. Will people look at data, invest more heavily in science, and make this less of an emotional/political conversation?

7. Data comes out about the effects of reduced carbon emissions during this social distancing phenomenon. Will we use this to help address climate change?

8. General rules around customs and hygiene change. Is the elbow bump the new handshake? Will we continue to order family-style at restaurants with colleagues and friends?

9. People value personal distance more than ever before. Will our space allocated per employee, which has consistently decreased in the last decade, start to track in the opposite direction?

10. Young children are insulated from this panic and are receiving more interaction and family time with parents, who would otherwise not be home. Will we appreciate these experiences and change work practices to incorporate this?

Ultimately, outside of economic and industry concerns, we have an opportunity to reevaluate what really matters to us and shift priorities around to excel.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how any of these trends will or will not change as a result of COVID-19’s impact on King County.

Capital Markets team
Adrienne Hunter / Jena Thornton / Stuart Williams / Alex Muir / Elizabeth Schalka

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Photo by Lucas Davies via Unsplash