Texas Economic Forecast for 2021

Moderator: Reid Wilson, Wilson Cribbs & Goren. Panelists: John Hammond,
Riverway Title; Patrick Duffy, Colliers International; Robert Cromwell, Moody Rambin; Josh Friedlander, NewQuest Properties; Stewart Geise, CBRE Austin; Corey Ferguson, Raintree Commercial; Scott Norton, Texamerica Center.

In spite of the COVID troubles of 2020, there are a lot of “green shoots” in
commercial real estate in Texas, and 2021 promises to be a year of renewal and opportunity, with new COVID-inspired efficiencies. Each quarter this year should be better. That said, there will also be a lot of rough spots between borrowers and lenders, landlords and tenants, evictions and rent deferrals/forgiveness, and so on. Overall, it may be ’23 or ’24 before full return to stabilization. Companies and employees from higher cost of living states are moving to Texas cities, which will create new needs here for transit and other forms of mobility and public services.

• Real estate opportunity funds are raising billions of dollars, and are looking for opportunities
• Even with the onset of COVID early in 2020, most pending real estate
transactions DID close as forecast
• Real estate lawyers are busy as landlords and tenants alike face debt stress, and create plans for new development
• Big question which will be answered as we move forward into the year: what kind of space do tenants really want for their employees, and for the continued dynamism of their companies? The trend is not yet clear to landlords or tenants; how will landlords react to tenants’ changing needs when the tenants themselves do not know what how their needs will develop?
• Employees may be “elevator-averse” well into the future, and this will impact high-rise office settings; trends are gently pointing away from CBD
and to less dense settings in the suburbs; there is a lot of vacant office space on the market; some tenants are even configuring to larger SF in their offices to increase distancing. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.