The city that never sleeps has taken a nap. It remains unknown exactly how long the nap will last and what will be the conditions when it awakes. But New York will definitely awake and will continue to be The City.
Covid-19 has impacted lives and communities everywhere and New York City has been at the forefront of taking the hits. This has materially impacted the way people live, work, and socialize in NYC and is having an impact in the surrounding suburbs. While nearly every community globally has faced similar challenges, The City challenges may be more acute or visible than most.
The housing market is being tested at every level which will cause property owners and tenants and the extensive network of players involved to suffer, adapt, and re-tool to eventually thrive again. The true test in the coming months and years will be to see how much resilience there is and the ability to not only get back to status quo, but to arise better than before.
The crisis, as bad as it is, should result in several positive changes within New York City, the surrounding suburbs, and in other similar communities everywhere. Possible changes we will see include the following:
Prize the getaway. People in the cities will place a higher value on spending time out of the city, whether in the mountains or countryside. This will lead to greater economic development in the overlooked areas with increased development and tourism.
Homes will have to flex. For many the home will turn into an office and a home gym and a kitchen that accommodates more than take-out. This will lead to greater investment being put into equipment, appliances, and technology inside the home.
Experiences will win. Individuals will be more mindful of other areas of their life to include health, hobbies, and relationships. And there should be an increased community awareness and focus towards these activities. This should lead to more balanced living for many and a more balanced appropriation of time and resources.
Several of the New York City suburb counties currently have homeowners spending about half their income on housing, which is not sustainable. And with the increased attention towards social distancing and health and hygiene there will likely be a dip in housing demand in the great cities, although this should be temporary.
When the sleeping giant re-awakens it will have a fresh perspective on many things and those businesses that can cater to these renewed needs will find opportunities. Those that have re-positioned for experiences, multi-use, and accommodations should find good news as people get to living in a new way. And people will find, once again, that they have hobbies and interests that are worth pursuing.