At the start of the pandemic, hotel investment froze along with the rest of commercial real estate, but while other markets have thawed, mandated travel bans and subsequent outbreaks of COVID-19 have prevented the hotel market from recovering. In a blog post published by Preqin, John McCourt and Ryan McAndrew of RSM US LLP predict that deal flow won't return until 2022 to levels seen before the pandemic. But when it does return, it will likely come in fits and starts depending on the asset type, its location and the financial status of the owner.

There are several factors contributing to the decrease in deal flow, starting with a mismatch between buyers and sellers on pricing, according to McAndrew and McCourt. Government relief is also playing a role in poor deal flow as investors are uncertain about what will happen when government relief decreases or expires.

When investment activity does start to rebound, McAndrew and McCourt believe that good assets will continue to be in demand. They note that there is a difference between "a distressed asset and a distressed owner." An owner that is in distress with a quality asset will continue to see demand. Those deals could rebound earlier, even in 2021. Distressed assets, on the other hand, will not see a return in investment demand for sometime.

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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.