Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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Coronavirus construction supply
February 21, 2020

Coronavirus could hit construction supply chains next

A clear picture of the global economic impact of the deadly coronavirus has begun to emerge, and U.S. real estate companies are monitoring how the crisis could play out on construction sites and in development pipelines.

Coronavirus caused more than 2,000 deaths and infected more than 75,000 people as of Thursday, and while most of those are still concentrated in China, where the pathogen originated, its global reach is coming into clearer focus. Coronavirus has impacted the bottom lines of some of the world’s biggest companies. 

Apple said Monday its latest smartphones would be delayed as a result of the virus, affecting its first-quarter sales. A drop in demand for international travel due to flight cancellations will cost airlines some $29B this year, the International Air Transport Association announced Thursday. Disney has warned of a hit to its park profits in China — they closed to prevent further spread — while Facebook is enduring a backlog in fulfilling orders for its Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. U.S. retailers are feeling the pinch, though Chinese factories have slowly begun reopening.

While most U.S. real estate impact has been contained to businesses with direct ties to China, material supply chains that begin in China on which construction sites and developments rely could start to be affected by disruptions as the crisis stretches on.

“For the first time this week I heard from two general contractors that they had materials caught up in ports because of the coronavirus — we’re starting to see some of that,” Hoffman & Associates Executive Vice President Maria Thompson said at a Bisnow event in Washington, D.C., this week.

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