April 3, 2020
Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic is “job one” at present, Marcus & Millichap CEO Hessam Nadji said Thursday, and the course and length of that battle will determine the near-term outlook for many industries, including commercial real estate.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty about how we’ll pull this off,” said Nadji. “But what is certain is that it has to be done.”
Having set the stage and established priorities, Nadji led a webinar Thursday that assessed the current economic situation and how the pandemic crisis is impacting the financing and transaction markets.
The webinar drew more than 10,000 attendees, and Nadji said it would be the first of several conversations Marcus & Millichap will conduct on working through the unprecedented economic situation that has arisen for investors and sellers alike.
He noted that in drawing parallels with previous economic upheavals, the closest analogy would be to the 2008 financial crisis. However, the 2008 downturn was preceded by hints of the troubles to come, while the current shutdown of much of the U.S. economy to fight the pandemic was preceded by undeniable economic strength.
With SVP research services John Chang charting the Federal Reserve’s actions to address the economic impact, Marcus & Millichap’s in-house sector leaders discussed the conversations they’ve been having with clients. In the multifamily sector, for example, there has been discussion on the options and consequences of forbearance agreements, said national director, multifamily John Sebree, while clients focused on office have raised questions about that sector’s outlook in view of the work-from-home mandate, said Alan Pontius, national director, office and industrial.
While industrial has gotten a boost from e-commerce, that sector has issues of its own amid the crisis, Pontius pointed out. As for retail, whether single- or multi-tenant, there are definite winners and losers at present, as described by Scott Holmes, national director, retail.
Replays of the hour-plus webinar are available on-demand by clicking here.
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