For many of us, our morning commutes have drastically changed. Gone are the days of grabbing a quick cup of coffee as we head out the door to sit in traffic. Now, our morning cup of joe is enjoyed on the couch after an extremely short commute from our bedroom. This shift has not only affected our daily routine but is now changing the places we’re choosing to live as well.
Health concerns shuttered urban amenities, and employees continuing to work from home have all been attributed to this shift. According to a new report, the rental demand from urban areas to suburban areas across the nation has many workers looking for more space at a lower cost. Vacancy rates in suburban markets dipped below central business districts in the second quarter of 2020.
In the past, we’ve seen epidemics do this same sort of thing. After a cholera epidemic hit New York City in the 19th century, people began moving from lower Manhattan to other neighborhoods if they could afford it, according to a CNN report. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that fewer than one-tenth of office workers had returned to their workplaces in Manhattan.
In a recent opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times, the Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute, Joel Kotkin credited LA’s sprawling development with slowing the spread of coronavirus. Kotkin posed the question, “How do you open up an office with expensive real estate if people have to be six feet apart?”
While urban rental markets have seen a sudden shift amid the pandemic, it may just be chalked up to short-term difficulties. Walkability and amenities have always been a big draw for renters in downtown areas, and as things slowly begin to reopen, we could see yet another shift in the tide.
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About The Author
Kevin Caiaccio, founder of Caiaccio Law Firm, has more than 25 years of experience practicing commercial real estate law. His cut-through-the-noise mentality encourages clients and colleagues to be selective and focus on big-picture solutions. He believes in fighting for what’s important and filtering through obstacles that distract. Kevin is recognized among his peers and network as a commercial real estate law industry leader and expert.