"Real estate has been, is and will always be an investment option, globally, and crises of any kind have shown this. Even if it is one of the first industries to feel the effects of economic growth or a recession, real estate has crossed them every time and remained at the top on the map of every investor", says Codrin Matei, Managing Partner Crosspoint Real Estate.

Offices - a sector of change

The office sector has been directly affected by the health crisis and is experiencing the most of the changes. "Market feedback during this period was mixed, and everyone is now talking only about change. As we all know during this period many employees are and work at home, so buildings and office spaces have a low occupancy rate and go through a restructuring of the arrangement, fit-out solutions or partitions adapted to social distancing, caused by pandemic”, said Cosmin Smighelschi, Associate, Office Agency Crosspoint Real Estate. 

Many companies currently offer a type of service called workplace consultancy, in order to ensure that employees who return or will return to offices are and will be in complete safety. 
"We estimate that most of the employees will return to the office starting with the second part of the year, although there are companies that already accept the fact that maybe they will return to the offices next year, which of course is a pressure on the real estate market. Nobody knows what will happen yet, but what we know for sure is that things will clearly change ", explains Smighelschi.
The productivity of working from home is increasing in some market sectors, and some companies are comfortable with working from home.
"Office building owners are adopting new strategies, the first is the sublease and the second is the renegotiation of existing contracts",  says Cosmin Smighelschi. These two strategies have, of course, many advantages, and in the case of renegotiation the owners gain stability through extended contracts, and tenants will gain a reduction in costs, along with the same stability - things desired by both parties in the office sector. 
"The part of subletting can now bring an upgrade of spaces for many companies that wanted a headquarters in better locations, larger spaces and in class A buildings, at affordable costs. And the tenants who offer a part of the space in sublease will optimize the costs a lot and will be able to keep their current contracts, bringing them, at the same time, stability ”, says Smighelschi.

Estimates from the beginning of the year are halved
"If we thought about when things will return to their pre-pandemic form, I could say that maybe somewhere between six and 12 months. Because, for example, for 2021-2022, another 500,000 sq m of new office space were expected, as a result of the pandemic, we will probably see somewhere around half of them delivered in the next two years ", estimates the Crosspoint associate. Also, their deliveries will be delayed by six to 12 months, but it all depends on how much more work will be done from home. If this whole year will still function with working from home, these deadlines will certainly be extended and the spaces recalibrated.
“Another good solution, adapted to this period, would be for office projects that are in progress or authorized to go to their rethinking in mixed-use projects. This would again benefit everyone, cost reductions for employees being close to work and a higher sales rate and success for developers", concludes Smighelschi. Another important aspect that will change, he says, given that working at home will still be necessary for at least a few months, is the one related to the payment of employees, from the hourly payment as it is currently used, to a payment on performance, to really pay for future performance.

Industrial - logistics operators are becoming more efficient
E-commerce was the only segment that benefited from the health crisis. “The volume and value of online orders have increased significantly during this period. Although in the last two months the demand on the online area does not register the level of March and April, we consider that the growth trend of this segment will be maintained, which will generate additional demand for logistics spaces", said Emilian Podaru, Head of Industrial & Logistics Crosspoint Real Estate. 
In the case of other sectors, this period will lead to streamlining of logistics processes. "In the short term, this efficiency may generate a limitation of extensions and even subleases in case of surplus space, but we believe that, in general, the logistics space market will remain stable, with a slight upward trend in the coming period," says Podaru.

 According to him, the current health crisis has accentuated the logistical challenges caused by the economic war between China and the USA, but also those caused by the long distance between production capacities in Asia and sales markets in Europe and North America. The concept of nearshoring, of relocating production capacity in a country located in the same region as the market, will significantly change the logistics industry in the coming years. 
“Countries that offer low production costs and a predictable business environment will benefit from relocations in the coming years. According to the Savills Nearshoring Index, in the European Union area, Romania ranks third in terms of industrial potential after the Czech Republic and Hungary. For Romania, it is an opportunity, in the medium and long term, to increase production capacities and exports to the European Union ", explains Emilian Podaru. (source: Crosspoint Real Estate)