The Economic Perspective: “Outlook for Commercial Real Estate”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at the outlook for commercial real estate.  Mike, commercial real estate is an economic sector facing many questions as a result of the pandemic.  For example, if cyber buying expands, fewer retail stores may be needed.  Also, if remote working becomes a larger part of the economy, the use of commercial office space will be called into question.  So what’s the future look like for commercial real estate?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • There’s not one answer
  • Vacancy rates are up for commercial real estate – a problem, but typical in a recession; question is if will remain high after the recession
  • Vaccine should help
  • But the two trends of cyber buying and remote working are worrisome
  • Expanding metro areas – like Charlotte and Raleigh – should be OK
  • But declining and stagnant areas should be concerned
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.