COVID-19 Trends of the Week: Aug. 10-14

President Trump targets evictions. Flexibility is here to stay. CMBS challenges mount. Here are the trends that shaped coronavirus coverage this week.

New unemployment claims fell under 1 million for the first time since March. Continuing claims also dipped under 16 million for the first time.

1. President Trump issues executive order in an attempt to stave off evictions. 

As negotiations on new coronavirus relief measures continue to stall in Congress, last Saturday President Trump issued an executive order that would protect renters from eviction. Experts immediately noted the lack of an implementation plan nor an extension of the national eviction moratorium that expired on July 24th. Also this week, HUD announced it would provide $472 million of CARES package money to public housing authorities through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Mainstream voucher programs.

Trump’s Executive Order on Evictions Likely Won’t Prevent Any Evictions

New Eviction Order: the Truth About a Moratorium and Protections

HUD Unveils $472M for Coronavirus Relief
Multi-Housing News

2. In office space, the one certainty is flexibility.

Google office building in Sunnyvale, Calif. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The desire to give office employees greater flexibility (BP is the latest big employer contemplating major space reductions partly in the name of it) is great news for flexible office providers and traditional office property owners that want to get into the business. But these are challenging times for everyone. A survey released last week noted that flex office providers are contending with rent reduction requests and contract termination as a result of the pandemic. Generally speaking, the outlook is positive.

Survey: Flex Office Providers Less Optimistic on Short-Term

BP Mulls Radical Reduction of Office Space in Move to Flexible Working
The Guardian

Flexible Office Space Is Growing and So Are a Landlord’s Responsibilities

3. More worries for the CMBS market.

The lack of additional governmental relief efforts and talk of a second shutdown has borrowers and lenders even more concerned about CMBS loan repayments. Meanwhile, a controversial report released this week found that underwriting on “thousands” of loans sold into CMBS overstated income projections and, as a result, owners’ ability to repay loans.

How Could a Second Lockdown Impact the CMBS Loan Market?
Motley Fool

Aggressive Underwriting Inflated Building Incomes For Loans Sold Into CMBS, Study Shows

Assessing the Trouble Ahead for Commercial Mortgages
National Mortgage News