The pandemic has affected a wide variety of businesses, from the smallest local coffee shop to international conglomerates. The real estate industry particularly experienced both ups and downs during these uncertain times. While economies took a nosedive, the demand for new housing, commercial real estate, and renovation projects significantly increased.
A broad spectrum of socio-economic factors largely contributed to these new trends in the market that shows not only has the real industry navigated the pandemic but is even beginning to thrive. Here are some recent trends to understand how the industry is building a post-pandemic future:
Previously overpopulated metropolitan cities saw their citizens moving out of the city limits to more suburban areas. As remote or hybrid work arrangements quickly became the new gold standard for employee health and safety, employees were able to ditch the high rent prices of urban areas and opt for bigger properties with significantly lower prices. Suburban real estate companies quickly took notice of the shift in the market’s demand, and while the financial market was in turmoil, new building projects continued.
Personal housing wasn’t the only sector to relocate. Businesses also followed suit. Commercial building spaces in the suburbs saw an increase in new business despite the toll of the pandemic for small and medium enterprises. While new commercial or industrial buildings were still slow to complete due to health and safety protocols for manual laborers, existing spaces were quickly occupied by businesses looking to transition from big city markets to smaller but populated neighborhoods. The move to the suburbs allowed businesses to cater to newer markets with reduced overhead costs.
Home and business renovation projects were even more popular during the pandemic compared to newer builds. After spending so much time stuck indoors, homeowners were eager to change their environment and further improve their homes. Open spaces, pools, crop gardens, balconies, fire pits, and other outdoor additives were popular projects as lockdown restrictions began to ease.
Home renovation in general, even outside of home spaces, grew in demand as more people started to rent or buy bigger properties than smaller condos and apartments. Social aid packages and robust loan packages provided by the government and major banks allowed a select pocket of the population to become homeowners.
Though the real estate industry has been resilient in bouncing back after the pandemic, significant cost optimization measures needed to be implemented across the board. Many administrative departments of engineering, architectural, construction, and real estate firms were all transitioned to working from home. Not only did this provide better health and safety for the companies as a whole, but it also allowed them to downsize their physical offices and overhead costs.
Shifting to local raw material suppliers also significantly improved their bottom lines and various value engineering initiatives helped them maximize their existing margins. Smaller and more targeted initiatives like the on-site recycling of materials and choosing aftermarket parts for construction equipment replacements also helped big and small construction firms alike to improve their profit margins with the limited cash flow.
Though technology has played a large role in improving project management, administrative duties, record keeping, and workforce management, it played an even bigger role after the pandemic. From the procurement of raw materials to coordination and communication efforts to the safety of the boots on the ground, tech has improved the very fiber of new building projects. Advanced simulation and build software also allowed different members of the build team to visualize the builds in 4D or 5D and reduce their on-site visits during the process.
Even in a more commercial aspect, smart technology for homes and businesses also grew in popularity. While smart technology typically doesn’t require any major build or design considerations, the learning curve was still present for many firms looking to provide buyers with smart builds.
The major considerations relied heavily on electric and internet wiring that needed to be strategically placed throughout the home or structure in order to optimize its functions. Smart tech provided homeowners with better security systems and convenient connectivity between their home appliances and helped businesses adapt to serving modern-day consumers and keeping their offices safe.
The real-estate industry is starting to make considerable headway in terms of matching or even superseding their performance prior to the pandemic. The quick and strategic changes seen across multiple aspects of the industry are primary contributors to their current trajectory. As the world continues to open back up, we’re poised to further developments in newer markets and tech integration.