In addition to the pandemic, natural disasters and civil unrest, 2020 is also an election year. For commercial real estate investors, this adds an additional layer of uncertainty to an already challenging market. A new report from Cushman & Wakefield analyzes the impact of the presidential election, and what investors need to do to prepare.

At the moment, the outcome of the election is uncertain. While Biden continues to poll ahead, his lead has narrowed to single-digit numbers, and historically, the incumbent president has won the second term election. According to the report, the incumbent president has won two-thirds of the time since World War II. To add more uncertainty to the outcome, polling in the last election missed the mark, both in the US and the UK, and historically, polls have been inconsistent in predicting the outcome of elections. For these reasons, Cushman & Wakefield is keeping its 2021 forecasts agnostic to the election.

In some ways, an agnostic outlook may be the right fit. Real estate generally performs well under both Democratic and Republican presidencies. The report notes that real estate returns have averaged 8.5% since 1979 under both administrations and changes in administrations. For that reason, the report recommends that investors focus on economic cycles, interest rates and developments in relation to COVID-19 to determine property and leasing trends and fundamentals.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.