COVID-19 Trends of the Week: July 27-31

HOPE for hotel and retail owners. Will urbanization be upended? Lobbying for rent relief. These are the trends that shaped coronavirus coverage this week.

Stressing that the path of the economy will depend on “the course of the virus,” the Federal Reserve opted to leave interest rates at near zero levels this week and pledged to continue its emergency lending programs. 

1. Hotel and retail owners ‘HOPE’ for help in new lending facility.

The continued spread of coronavirus is hammering hotel and retail properties, causing disruption in public and private real estate markets. Hotel and retail property borrowers, however, may have a lifeline in a new lending facility introduced as part of the H.R. 7809, the Helping Open Properties Endeavor Act. 

Hotels Hurry to Raise Cash as Federal Aid Could End
Marcus & Millichap/Wall Street Journal

Shoppers Are Still Wary of Returning to Malls, Trying on Clothes and Traveling

Proposed Bill Would Bail Out Beleaguered CMBS Industry

2. The end of the city? Probably not.

Surburban office property in Reston, Va. Image via Flickr

Suburban developers and investors are feeling hopeful as many speculate that businesses and residents will reverse the urbanization trend and seek low-rise properties and more open space. But many economists believe that this is a temporary mood change rather than a reversal of fortune for American cities and the real estate developers who have staked their futures on the urban lure.  

Suburban Garden-Style Apartments Will Be the Future of the Multifamily Sector
National Real Estate Investor

Will COVID-19 End the Era of Urbanization?
Commercial Property Executive

3. Real estate trade groups press for relief extensions. 

Trade groups and affordable housing advocates put in a last-ditch effort this week to get Congress to enact new relief legislation before the existing one expired on July 31. One of the key sticking points in the new bill is whether or not to extend the $600 in additional unemployment benefits that has helped residents meet their monthly obligations. Real estate groups agree with Democrats that the enhanced unemployment payments should continue, but they don’t want to see an extension of the eviction moratorium for buildings with federally-backed mortgages. They also support rental assistance for small businesses and more lenient guidelines surrounding the Paycheck Protection Program loan program.

Industry Urges More Rent Relief to Avoid ‘Domino Effect’
Multi-Housing News

Real Estate’s Biggest Industry Lobbyists Tell Us What Will Be In The Next Stimulus Bill

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