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Market Update

What's the Latest with the Commercial Real Estate Market

May 15, 2020

<-- Previous Installment (04/23/2020) | Next Installment (June 1, 2020) -->

Here's the latest edition of our continuing series on What's the Latest with the Commercial Real Estate Market.

To dive deeper into the state of the commercial real estate market and the economy here and abroad, keep on reading. (We have graphs!)

TL;DR - As some of the safer-at-home orders are lifted, people and businesses are thinking about how to come back to “normal life.”

Part I: When Do You Want to Do That Again?
One of the most uncertain things of coming back after spending time working from home or in quarantine is when exactly people will feel comfortable doing what they once did. For the most part, it won’t be a single switch in people’s minds. It will be a slow and gradual return to activities.

From the chart above from the Tampa Bay Partnership’s State of the Region: Coronavirus Edition report, we can see when exactly people will feel comfortable doing the things they once did. While certain things like going back to work will happen within a matter of weeks, other things like going to school or the gym will take months. Moreover, things like traveling and certain leisure activities might take a year or more before people feel comfortable again.

Part II: Are We Done with Coronavirus
For a lot of people, they are now approaching two months or more of dealing with the fallout effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Two months is a long time, but what we don’t know is how much longer we’ll be in this state.

From the same survey source as before, we can see that the majority of respondents (57%) think that we have either reached the peak or are beyond the peak of the pandemic as of the end of April. Compare that to only 46% of respondents who thought the same way at the middle of April. What’s still important to note is that 41% of people don’t even think we’re halfway through the worst of the Coronavirus.

Part III: Restaurant Reservations
One of the most telling signs of how comfortable are people with going out and about again is how willing they are to go out to restaurants again. And not just take-out and to-go orders but actual dine-in experiences.

From the chart above from OpenTable, we can see that restaurant goers in the Tampa market are most comfortable with eating out again compared to other major metro markets. While dine-in reservations are still down significantly over last year, there are steady signs of improvements in these numbers.

Still, the most important data point to track - for both the Tampa Bay area and beyond - is the number of new Coronavirus cases. As of May 13, that number is trending downward in Florida but new cases are still developing. Until that number reaches zero, we still will be in this state of uncertainty.

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