More people moved during the pandemic, but Covid didn’t create a permanent migration of businesses, according to a new report from commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The take-away: commercial real estate activity will continue to rebound through 2021.

From the report:

  • Some people moved, but companies generally did not: Gateway cities maintained roughly the same share of total leasing (~40%) as pre-pandemic levels.

  • Companies also did not leave city centers: The CBD accounted for ~40% of office leasing since the pandemic began in Q2 2020.

  • Early-2021 data indicates that a strong rebound is building in the gateway cities: Office leasing activity increased the most in gateway and gateway-adjacent markets.

  • Long-term growth is expected in major markets: Gateway markets are expected to see annual job growth double this decade (from 0.6% in the 2010s to 1.2% in the 2020s). This will drive demand for housing, offices and ecommerce warehouse space to support population and job growth in and around these large cities.