While it is too soon to offer definitive answers to how the COVID-19 crisis will impact the
Nashville real estate market, there clearly are rough times ahead, especially for the hotel
and retail sectors. CBRE and others forecast heavy job losses and more than 30%
contraction of U.S. GDP in Q2 2020. But a strong recovery is expected to kick in during
the second half of 2020, as the impact of a massive government stimulus package helps
revive consumer spending and return businesses to healthy footing.
The impact of this crisis on the Nashville market could be shorter-lived and the recovery
could be faster than after the September 11 attacks and the Great Recession. Instead, it
could mirror the recovery of Asian economies during the SARS outbreak in 2002, where
sharp but short-lived declines in economic activity caused a temporary weakness in the
real estate market that was largely resolved after one or two quarters. Indeed, China’s
initial recovery from its COVID-19 outbreak appears to be following a SARS-like
trajectory and could offer hope of a similar path forward for the U.S.