Investing in bricks and mortar has always made perfect sense. The value of real estate nearly always increases significantly over time. In a stable economic environment putting your money into property has proved extremely lucrative in the long-term.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is now no longer such a thing as a stable economic environment. All bets are off and all futures are uncertain. Yet does this ring as true for the property market as it does elsewhere? We asked the founder of Uptown Capital LLC, Simon Walder if the real estate industry can continue to flourish and grow despite the pandemic, or if it will have to adapt considerably to the ‘new normal,’ just to survive.
“Make no bones about it the real estate world took a real body blow from the pandemic,” explained Walder, who added, “As the global economy begins to slowly claw its way out of a deep recession we can begin to take stock of the ramifications the pandemic has had on the industry and they are numerous.”
Walder points to how the containment measures triggered by lockdown have led to a surge in home working which has had a detrimental effect on the future and viability of commercial real estate.
Walder explained, “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how connected we all are in a virtual sense and that remote working is the future. Unfortunately, this has led to difficult questions surrounding the use of properties primarily used for workspaces. Because we no longer need physical spaces to work, hold meetings or conferences, commercial real estate is not as sound an investment as it once was pre-Covid. Yet this may change again in the future when people feel safe enough to meet up in person once more. It’s a development we need to observe closely.”
Alternately, because we are all spending far more time at home, there has been an increased demand for extra living space and extensions for home offices, etc. A trend that Walder predicts will continue.
“Residential property will keep and increase its value considerably,” explained Walder. “Home is where the heart is and people are spending more money on their properties than ever before which will continue to drive the market up. More and more people are also relocating from the cities to the suburbs and rural areas, so if you have a property to rent, you are sitting on a potential goldmine.”
Walder added, “Overall the picture is positive for the real estate world as a whole. The commercial sector may be struggling somewhat at the moment but if you own the buildings and land it can always be redeveloped for another use. I am confident the entire industry will weather the storm and prove once again that property is the most secure market there is.”