The real estate market in 2020 was pandemonium for many cities. At first, it seemed that Omaha would be no different. In the second quarter of the year, as the world coped with the initial shock and significant adjustments from the pandemic, commercial real estate sales in Omaha plummeted by 87 percent compared with 2019. Things were looking pretty grim.
Then in the third and fourth quarters of the year, the city’s market bounced back at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the country. For commercial real estate in particular, the sales during this time period were only 4.3 percent lower than in 2019. This amount is significantly less than commercial real estate sales in the rest of the country, which had an average drop of 32 percent in quarters three and four.
What might be the reason for such a comeback in the heartland of America? According to Jeff Blumenthal of Omaha law firm Baird Holm, it’s because of the variety of business types that have set up shop in the area. In a recent interview with REJournals, Blumenthal said, “We are strong across all commercial sectors. There is a great diversity of developers in this town who continue to make good decisions to be forward-thinking without being overly aggressive.”
The city’s commitment to new multi-family housing structures is also credited with keeping the area afloat.
It would appear that the American central city is a role model for how to keep the commercial real estate market thriving: Multiple business types, innovative development, and focus on multi-unit housing have done the trick so far. Time will tell if the rest of the country follows suit.