CPE’s 2020 Must-Reads

Catch up on our most important stories, interviews, rankings and analyses from this year.

What a year! Across the commercial real estate landscape, 2020 predictions couldn’t have foreseen what would happen next: the end of the longest period of economic expansion, industry associations being forced to put their conferences on hold, more than 40 million Americans losing their jobs, a historic $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, hotel occupancy rates dropping to record lows, grocery stores sales down more than 8 percent, to name just a few. Let’s look back at the most important real estate news of this completely unpredictable year.

With lockdowns in most of the country in late March and throughout April, businesses had no choice but to put in place work-from-home policies. As office buildings temporarily closed their doors, the office market has seen a deep nosedive in the average occupancy rate, as well as leasing activity, which had dropped by nearly 50 percent in April. While office buildings struggled this year, developers and investors have focused increasingly on healthy properties and medical office buildings. Later in the year, we found out that initial predictions were optimistic, with office leasing likely to recover by 2025.

But 2020 has been a good year for e-commerce companies and, as a result, for the industrial sector, with increased demand for warehouse and distribution space. Amazon announced plans to invest $250 million in a new location just outside Austin, Texas, while also expanding its distribution network in the entire metro area. What’s more, facilities not well-positioned for e-commerce distribution stand to feel the hardest burden, according to NAIOP. As people shopped more online than in person, logistics assets turned out to be unusually pandemic-resistant.

Meanwhile, Macy’s decision to close 30 of its more than 600 locations at the beginning of the year was just the first in a series of challenges for department stores. As a result of stay-at-home orders, most retail stores were forced to temporarily close their doors in late March and early April following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. The struggling retail companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 include Pier 1 Imports, Neiman Marcus Group, Lord & Taylor, Stein Mart and CBL & Associates Properties.

Here are CPE’s must-reads for 2020:

What Real Estate Could Expect From the Next Administration

Industry experts are keeping an eye on affordable housing, pandemic relief and other hot topics.


New Study Aims to Crack Cap Rate Code

The model is based on the unemployment rate and the flow of commercial mortgage debt, metrics that are a proxy for U.S. economic performance and capital flows into commercial real estate.


Top 5 Markets for Office Transaction Volume

These metros account for more than 40 percent of the nation’s 2020 sales volume through October.


2020 Leading CRE Law Firms

The number of commercial real estate legal practices and practitioners continues to grow. See which firms made our top 40 list.


Real Estate Market Crash Unlikely, Experts Say

Economists are calling the pandemic-induced recession unique in several ways. Here’s how analysts expect the health crisis to change the real estate market.


Rent Collection High In Most Asset Types, Marcus & Millichap Finds

While in some sectors more than 95 percent of tenants are meeting their rent obligations, some retail assets continue to struggle.


Real Estate Has a Diversity Problem. Will This Moment Lead to Real Change?

Industry leaders discuss what actions companies and individuals can take and why it’s important to keep the conversation going.


Pandemic Accelerates, Rather Than Starts, CRE Trends

Paul Fiorilla of Yardi Matrix on key takeaways from the Urban Land Institute’s virtual conference.


10 Fastest-Growing Commercial Property Management Companies of 2020

The Top 10 Fastest-Growing Commercial Property Management Companies of 2020 utilized self-reported data for all firms.