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How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Real Estate in New York

There is hardly a place in the world that didn't feel the impact of COVID-19. Tourist locations took a significant hit at first, and it was pretty uncertain how they would survive the following months. And even larger cities saw notable changes in both the job market and real estate. So, it is only natural to wonder how COVID-19 has reshaped real estate in New York. In this article, we will try to sum up how the complex system that is NYC real estate has been affected by the recent pandemic.

How COVID-19 impacted NYC

To understand the impact of COVID-19, it is essential to keep in mind that it is a long-lasting, ongoing process. While it is easy to sum up the effect of a hurricane or a flood, the impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19 is usually much more complex. So, don't expect that we will understand the full scope of things for some time to come. As it is with most historical events, a certain amount of time needs to pass before analysts can agree on what truly unfolded.

Working from home

Once COVID-19 hit, most companies that could afford to implement remote work did so. While before it seemed impossible that so many people could work from home, COVID-19 convinced us that it is quite possible. As schools also went online, it became pretty difficult to live, work, and raise kids in the same space. Family relationships became quite strenuous in limited NYC apartments, and many people soon had a difficult choice to make.

Working from home became a reality for a large number of people.

Working from home became a reality for a large number of people.

Namely, for a substantial number of people, living in NYC was a work-related necessity. After a year or two, they decided that they wanted a family. But, when it comes to specific industries, it can be pretty tricky to find decent work outside large cities like NYC. So, to avoid stress and risk, they simply decided to raise their families in the Big Apple, no matter how cramped their apartments became. But, once working from home became a reality, it started to matter less and less where your home was. So, people began looking for places outside of NYC to settle in.

No NYC nightlife

Besides family people, you had young professionals who stayed in NYC simply for the nightlife. When it comes to clubs, restaurants, theatres, and art events, only a handful of places in the world can compete with NYC. This is why a lot of people decide to live out their twenties and early thirties here. Going out every weekend and enjoying all NYC has to offer.

Unfortunately, once COVID-19 hit, the nightlife was the first to go. All the glitz and glamour was closed off to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. As you can imagine, this caused a fair bit of stress for these young professionals. After all, they grew pretty accustomed to regular nights out.

Put the previous two together, and you'll soon see one of the most significant impacts that COVID-19 has had on New York real estate - a large number of people leaving it. As it is now, estimates vary as it can be hard to determine who left NYC for good and who plans to come back. Still, we are talking about over a hundred thousand people that left the metropolitan region. And if we take a look at NYC as a whole, over 300.000 people left permanently.

A New York Times article regarding Coronavirus The initial reports regarding COVID-19 in NYC were quite frightening.

The initial reports regarding COVID-19 in NYC were quite frightening.

As newspapers like to call it, this mass exodus leads to a sharp drop in demand for rental apartments in NYC. For a while, you could get a terrific apartment with parking for a fraction of its previous cost. After all, landlords had to find some way to make ends meet. And offering cheaper apartments seemed like the only feasible option. On the other hand, moving companies thrived as a ton of people suddenly needed help with relocation. But, as you can learn from, this sudden surge in relocation wasn't meant to last.

Once things settled down

While it seemed that there would be no one left to live in NYC, things quickly settled down. While a decent chunk of the population did leave, a fairly large percentage remained. And as things went back to normal (as normal as possible), people soon started going back to old ways of life.

Renting in NYC

As it is now, both renting and the average renting cost are back on track. While there was a notable drop during the hiatus of the first wave of COVID-19, things have stabilized. Nowadays, you can pretty much assume that your NYC apartment would cost you as if there was no pandemic to speak of.

An empty street in NYC representing one way in which Covid has reshaped real estate in New York

The initial ways in which Covid-19 has reshaped real estate in New York soon lost their impact.

Buying in NYC

The homebuyer market in NYC remained surprisingly stable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though people left, there was no significant drop in home costs. After all, living in the Big Apple still has its appeal.

The only notable difference is with commercial real estate. As people started working from home, companies soon realized they had little need for large commercial spaces. So, more companies began to work solely online, therefore lessening the need for buying or renting commercial space. If you do plan on purchasing office space in NYC, be aware of potential dangers.

Final thoughts on how COVID-19 has reshaped real estate in New York

When trying to decipher how the pandemic has reshaped real estate in New York, you need to look beyond the obvious factors. We've listed so far only the aspects of real estate that are related to renting and buying. But, to truly see how COVID-19 has impacted the Big Apple, some time needs to pass. The lockdowns, the protests, the restrictive measures have impacted NYC as a whole. And, by proxy, will impact NYC real estate.

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