Death of the HQ? Pandemic hits commercial real estate, but long-term trends still open to debate

A rendering of one of Amazon’s new buildings in Bellevue, Wash. (Vulcan Image)

“HQ’s are finished.”

That was the hot take this week from Chris Herd, founder and CEO of remote work setup startup Firstbase. After speaking with about 1,000 companies over the past six months, he estimates that many will be cutting their office space by as much as 40% to 60%. About 90% of workforces indicated that they “never want to be in an office again full-time,” he wrote.

The latest example of the trend is the news this morning that working from home will be a permanent part of the mix at Microsoft. Boosting access to talent, reducing costs, and quality of life were among the benefits of remote work cited by companies in Herd’s informal survey.

“Good thread on the future of work. I agree with him,” former Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff chimed in

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Washington Real Estate Investment Trust: DC Metro Stability And Redevelopments Will Fuel Long-Term Growth (NYSE:WRE)

Thesis

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRE) (“WashREIT”) has exposure to an extremely stable market in the Washington DC metro area. Its properties cover ground in downtown DC, northern Virginia, and Maryland suburbs. The diversified REIT boasts multifamily, office, and retail holdings.

Management has de-risked its portfolio by transitioning to lower-cap rate, lower-risk, and higher-growth suburban multifamily properties. Capital recycling from high-cap rate to lower-cap rate properties has resulted in a short-term decrease in core funds from operations per share and an underperforming stock price. However, the company is well-positioned for the long term with a suburban multifamily focus.

The sector and market focus position the company to benefit from population and employment migration to the region, as well as a continued housing shortage. WashREIT is undervalued due to its diversified nature and recent core FFO per share declines. Suburban office is stable, and retail makes a small portion of

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Strong Home Prices Expected to Continue Through at Least 2021, But Economic Uncertainty is Clouding Long-Term Outlook

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

SEATTLE, Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
SEATTLE, Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — After watching the for-sale housing market largely shrug off the potential impacts of the coronavirus pandemic this summer, a panel of experts is singing a much more bullish tune about short-term home price performance than in the spring. But a few clouds appear when looking further out. Skepticism remains in the long term with elevated unemployment expected to persist into the next decade. 

The Zillow® Home Price Expectations Surveyi, sponsored by Zillow and conducted quarterly by Pulsenomics LLC, asks more than 100 economists, investment strategists and real estate experts for their predictions about the U.S. housing market. The Q3 survey focused on the short- and long-term outlook for home prices, as well as expectations for U.S. unemployment. 

Just three months ago,

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