Pandemic impact may weigh on commercial real estate recovery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is fueling optimism that Americans will increasingly return to the ways they used to shop, travel and work before the pandemic. That would be a welcome change for companies that own office buildings and hotels, or those that lease space to restaurants, bars, department stores and other retailers. These have been the hardest-hit areas of commercial real estate over the past year. But even as the U.S. economy appears set to roar back to life, as many economists now predict, demand for commercial real estate could take longer to recover as businesses reassess their post-pandemic needs, according to a new report by Moody’s Analytics.