・This report casts a look back at 2020 and forecasts what we may see in the upcoming couple of years for leasing markets as well as for the overall real estate investment.
・In 2020, the Japanese government introduced a range of policies suspending a broad range of economic activity in the hope of controlling the spread of COVID-19. As these restrictions took hold and began to affect people’s everyday lives and behavior, the impact on the real estate market gradually became apparent. The drop in business activity caused office rents to decline; a sharp decline in inbound tourists led to an abrupt downturn in retail leasing demand; the rapid growth of e-commerce spurred increasing requirements for logistics facilities.
・Following a resurgence in COVID-19 infections in December 2020, the Japanese government is once again likely to adopt a policy of restricting economic activity in the early months of 2021 to contain the spread of the virus. While this bodes ill for the domestic economic outlook (albeit to a lesser extent compared to the first declaration of state of emergency in 2020), the commencement of vaccination programs in several countries around the world has raised hopes for the gradual eradication of the pandemic, leading to the eventual normalization of the global economy.
・CBRE expects the Japan real estate market to either bottom-out and/or commence a recovery in 2021, although the pace and timing of the rebound may vary across different sectors. However, all sectors are likely to feel the long-term impacts of short-term disruptions caused by measures to contain the pandemic. In the office sector, the rapid adoption of remote working is encouraging many companies to reexamine the role of the office, prompting them to consider introducing a range of new workplace formats. In the retail sector, both landlords and tenants are reviewing the design, positioning and function of brick-and-mortar stores in the digital age. In the logistics sector, accelerating e-commerce growth and a shortage of labour are further boosting demand for large, state-of-the-art facilities.