Real Estate in a post-COVID world

The short- and long-term impact of the crisis on commercial Real Estate (RE)

Recent discussions with CEOs and board members from more than 90 local and international RE Investors in EMEA and North America indicate that there are a number of specific challenges and opportunities in a post-COVID world for the RE sector.

Article written by Alain Van Houtte and Grégory Jurion

With the COVID-19 crisis, the world, for the first time, was confined at home and all activity stopped. With the exception of the suffering of those who lost loved ones and the immense tiredness of the hospital workforce, this crisis has triggered or sped up changes that've been expected for many years.

As a result of COVID-19, we can expect to see accelerated moves towards greater reliance on regional hubs and “reverse urbanisation”. This could lead to uncertainty about the current availability of suitable real estate assets and the required local infrastructure to satisfy increased and diversified demand.

The climate crisis will continue to heap stakeholder pressure on Real Estatecompanies to commit to sustainability goals. Businesses mustn’t lose sight of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, even as they grapple with their financial survival.

This crisis is likely to permanently change the use of commercial real estate and we need to be prepared for new trends, such as reverse reduced office working, the growing popularity of online and local community shopping, growth in digital transformation and a long-term decline in business travel. Health and wellbeing are also likely to become a greater driver of value across all forms of real estate.

The upside of where we find ourselves today is that individuals and corporations will be more resilient and flexible in a post-COVID-19 world - that’s forcing us to innovate and change the way we work and live.

Contact us

Alain Van Houtte

Alain Van Houtte

Director (external consultant), PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 495 18 19 19

Grégory Jurion

Grégory Jurion

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 476 42 39 16

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