COVID-19 Trends of the Week: Sept. 21-25

Co-living and the pandemic coexist. Senior living executives look to the future. Is retail going out of style for investors? These are the trends that shaped coronavirus coverage this week.

Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly inched up last week. Initial claims totaled 870,000, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, up about 4,000 from the week before.

1. Co-living grows despite social distancing requirements.

When the pandemic started, many thought co-living was endangered. Who would want to live in close quarters with unrelated roommates during or after a pandemic? But co-living has risen to the occasion with new health protocols at a time when low-cost living arrangements are critically needed. Common, one of the largest and most agile players in this fledgling field, announced a major fundraising transaction raise this week.

COVID-19 Hasn’t Intimidated Co-Living Operators
Multi-Housing News

West Philly’s International House to be Renovated by ‘Co-Living’ Investment Group
The Philadelphia Enquirer

Common Expands Its Residential Platform With $50M Capital Raise
GlobeSt.com

2. Senior living executives are determined to change and thrive.

Senior Living Facility
Sunrise Senior Living Facility  Image by Sunrise Senior Living/CC BY-SA

The pandemic has had a profound effect on senior living facilities and the sector as a whole. But the crisis is also an important inflection point that will lead to significant change. In a report issued by the International Council on Active Aging and during a senior living conference, executives this week articulated some of the ways the industry can be stronger in terms of health, operations and financing.

Seven Urgent Changes Needed to Fix Senior Living
MarketWatch

Senior Housing REITs Take Stock Amid Turbulence
Multi-Housing News

Senior Living Core Deals See Momentum, Value-Add to Follow
Senior Housing News

3. A big name in retail real estate is getting smaller.

Brick and mortar retail sales have revived some since March, allowing retailer rent payments to increase a bit. But Brookfield, one of the nation’s largest mall owners, sent an ominous message about the property type’s future this week. It announced to employees that its retail workforce would be cut because it planned to own fewer malls. Meanwhile, retail survivors are unnerving mall owners as they opt to open smaller format stores.

Brookfield Cutting 20 Percent of Retail Arm as It Looks to Sell Off Some Malls
Commercial Observer

Retailers Have Started Paying Rent Again But Are Still Fighting With Their Landlords
CNBC

Macy’s, Target, Ikea & Others Are Getting Smaller Stores; Mall Operators Are Getting Worried
Forbes