What’s on the Horizon for Commercial Real Estate?
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
In 2020, COVID-19 sent many of us home, and offices and strip malls emptied. It was a dark time, economically, as restaurants, retail stores and other businesses struggled to find their way out of the hole. Thankfully, however, the landscape has improved and looks to continue doing so. Keith Stark, founder and CEO of ConsortiumCRE, has been working in the real estate business for 35 years and maintains that locally, occupancy levels are at an all-time high. As long as they prepare with the proper rental property maintenance to keep these in good condition and ready for new renters, this new influx will be nothing but good news.
“I’m actually surprised at how quickly the recovery has returned,” Stark says. “Not only are we not experiencing vacancy levels coming out of COVID, but also there is a shortage of space.”
He notes that the biggest problem we’re facing right now is inflation and potentially stagflation, which is persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant economic demand.
Even prior to COVID-19, people lived, worked and shopped differently than they did in generations past. Regional malls were built in the 1960s to concentrate retail for convenience, but now convenience for many is getting items and meals delivered to their doorstep.
“[At the height of the pandemic,] we saw a huge spike in online purchases and online food orders, but there has been a mass of movement back to physical retail shopping as well as restaurants,” Stark says. Some businesses predicted and looked forward to this outcome, and made good use of the downtime to perform large overhauls and upgrades like a new commercial roofing installation which would have meant closing down shop temporarily otherwise.
The office sector, just like retail, is changing dramatically. Ever since COVID-19, a large segment of the population has grown accustomed to working from home. People found that they liked saving both time and money. Plus, they could wear comfy sweatpants 24/7. All of this translates to a good chunk of the population not being eager to return to the office. Hence, the office industry is seeing some high vacancies.
Thankfully, the job market looks good in the Hoosier state because people are moving here from all over the U.S.
“We have migration into the nine-county area, which is huge,” Stark says. “That’s the best kind of injection of hope you can have. As a result, Indiana is probably in the best shape it has ever been in as a state.”
According to Stark, a surge of new retail franchise opportunities is coming in 2023 and beyond.
“It’s unprecedented in my 35-year career,” Stark says. “In just Hamilton County, there’s BJ’s Wholesale Club coming onto the market, and a fifth Costco coming in 2024 or 2025. Plus, we’re seeing a record number of new restaurants coming in.”
The bottom line is that Stark predicts that 2023 is going to be an amazing year. Moreover, if you want to make the most of this year and learn more about real estate opportunities, you can visit the official website of one of the most prominent realtors. We also love looking for property in Spain, as there are some amazing locations and very cheap prices available (for the people searching for real estate for sale in sunny Marbella properly for example). Those who are planning to invest in rental properties this year may look into the available 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for rent.
“It’s a bright future for Indiana,” he says.