COVID-19 Trends of the Week: Aug. 17-21

Airbnb tests the market. The suburbs are making a splash. Back to school for student housing. These are the trends that shaped coronavirus coverage this week.

In a long-awaited sign of normalcy, AMC Theaters announced it was opening 113 locations around the country and offering reduced prices to lure leery viewers back. Going to the movies is still prohibited in a number of states, such as New York and California.

  1. Airbnb files draft IPO while many hotels are on the verge.

Many were scratching their heads this week when Airbnb quietly filed for an IPO. Leisure and business travel is still restricted, leaving many traditional hotel operators in dire straits. And, after coronavirus hit, the short-term rental provider laid off 25 percent of its workers due to widespread reservation cancellations. But the home-sharing business has been rebounding since March, and technology companies are doing better than brick and mortar companies overall. In other news, Airbnb outlawed house parties.  

Airbnb Files Confidential IPO Paperwork
Commercial Property Executive

1 in 4 Hotels Can’t Pay Their Mortgages

Airbnb IPO Will Get Treated Better by the Market than Before the Pandemic as Competition Gets ‘Handicapped’ by Crisis, Prof Damodaran Says
Markets Insider

2. Studies are showing…the suburbs hold sway.


It’s happening in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Data is showing that homeowners and renters are increasingly finding the grass is greener in the suburbs. While skeptics say it is only a rumor or a blip, it is hard to argue that today’s low mortgage rates, a cheaper cost of living and increased personal space are making homeowners and renters look beyond the urban core.  

Suburbs Outperform Cities as Renters Relocate: Report
Multi-Housing News

Demand for Suburban Property Grows as Home Buyers Look Outside City Centers

Urban Exiles Are Fueling a Suburban Housing Boom Across the U.S.

3. Student housing operators re-open while some campuses remain closed.

Student housing developers are welcoming students back this month despite an increasing number of schools resorting to all online instruction. In order to reassure parents and students, these operators have upgraded cleanliness, enabled social distancing and maximized their bandwidth. But at least one operator has been accused of pressuring universities to re-open despite the extreme health risks.  

Student housing in the COVID-19 era
Building Design + Construction

Student Housing Construction on Pace Despite Challenges Related to COVID-19
REBusiness Online

COVID-19 Roundup: More Pivots, Scrutiny From the Senate
Inside Higher Ed