The pandemic is shaking up commercial real estate unlike any economic cycle we have ever experienced before, and the final shakeout is far from over. While the debate rages on about the nature of future office work – the work-from-home vs. get-back-in-the office model – the other emerging trend, the combination of an urban exodus with a surge in the suburbs, is clearly on, according to Jay Olshonsky, CCIM, FRICS, SIOR, President & CEO of NAI Global.

Olshonsky cited a portion of a recent presentation by CoStar Managing Director Robert Calhoun, CFA, at NAI Global’s (virtual) annual convention, in which Calhoun stated that data supports the notion that people are leaving cities in favor of the suburbs or secondary/tertiary locations, based on apartment rents. Rents are falling in urban areas and CBDs while rents are rising in the ‘burbs. CoStar owns and based on the volatility in daily asking rents Calhoun is seeing, especially at the highest end of the market, he thinks the economy is heading for a K-shaped recovery.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.

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