The following excerpt was originally written by the South Florida Business Journal. Click here to view the full article.
Before the novel coronavirus infected the South Florida real estate industry, it was always clear whether it was a buyer’s or seller’s market.
But, like most industries, it’s a sector of the region’s economy that’s not immune to the virus, formally known as Covid-19.
An abundance of confidence in South Florida’s most valuable sector has morphed into a wealth of unpredictability in recent weeks.
The Business Journal reached out to local experts — many of whom have weathered previous downturns — to get their take on what the future might look like for each segment of the region’s booming real estate industry: residential, industrial, office, retail and hospitality.
We also asked professionals how the coronavirus affected their deal flow. The results of a Business Journal survey offer a rough picture of an industry at a standstill.
From small companies to large ones, a majority told us that the pandemic greatly slowed or halted deal flow. Most say that’s because of uncertainties among buyers and sellers.
Neil Merin offered his take on the office sector below.
“There will be a slightly higher vacancy rate because some companies will totally fail. Some tenants will renegotiate their rent. Some see it as a way to preserve cash.” – Neil Merin, Chairman, NAI Merin Hunter Codman