How The Delta Variant Will Affect Real Estate

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, how will the recent spread of the delta variant affect real estate? Oscar, Bayonne, NJ

A: After things on the horizon were looking better for the summer and the rest of the year, vaccination rates plateaued and the delta variant which we knew was more transmissible has been spreading like wildfire. The damage that the delta variant will do both to the economy and real estate will vary from region to region based on vaccination rates and people’s behavior like mask wearing. Places that still have a large majority of unvaccinated residents like Louisiana will be affected more than states that have higher vaccination rates–ICUs and hospitals in unvaccinated areas are full or close to capacity. As we’ve seen many times before in the last year and a half we have been dealing with the pandemic, when cases rise precipitously, fear sets in, people don’t go out and spend as much money and home sellers are more reluctant to let strangers into their homes. One unintended consequence of the delta variant running rampant I think will be to increase vaccination adoption rates as more kids are getting severe Covid and more companies and institutions will require vaccination or constant Covid testing. NJ has the 7th highest vaccination rate in the US right now, with about 60% of the population fully vaccinated. As vaccination rates go up, the spread of the virus will recede but in the meantime, areas with lower vaccination rates will be affected more. Thanks for your question, Oscar.

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