“There is no COVID-19 ‘off’ switch”, was the headline of a German real estate trade journal recently. The virus is here. It can’t just be turned off. And although we already know a lot about the virus, it is still unpredictable. This will probably not change until a vaccine is made available.
As long as this is the case, all discussions about a possible “new normal” in the real estate investment market will inevitably remain vague. And yet the question arises: “What comes after COVID-19, does the virus change the way we live and do business, and what does this mean for the real estate industry?”
It’s quite easy to imagine a worst case scenario for the real estate markets: empty shopping centres and city centres because people prefer to shop online, the office as a phased-out model in times of home office, abandoned hotels and convention centres due to videoconferencing replacing personal exchanges and the logistics sector under pressure as the economy is shrinking, and with it the volumes of storage and transport. But we do not believe in this worst-case scenario.