Public Data in Roundtable’s “Commercial Real Estate By The Numbers: 2023” Shows CRE as Driving Economic Force

RER report - Commercial Real Estate By The Numbers: 2023

A new Real Estate Roundtable report—Commercial Real Estate By The Numbers: 2023— illustrates CRE’s significant contributions to the economy, statistics on climate and the industry, and the important role of tax policy in CRE investment. (18-page report

Statistical CRE Reference 

  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer said, “Our compilation of publicly available data shows the vital role commercial real estate plays as a driving force in the American economy. Whether it is real estate’s positive contributions to GDP, the workforce, local tax bases, or Americans’ retirement savings, this report serves as a valuable resource in understanding the important role of CRE in our society.”
  • DeBoer added, “Our report also presents data on CRE’s climate footprint, information on the economic impact of real estate tax proposals, facts on the affordable housing shortage, and statistics on the physical footprint of U.S. commercial real estate. We intend for this reference to be a ‘living document’ that can be updated when new government and private sector statistics become available.” 

Public Data 

GHG Emissions CRE graphic

  • The report’s findings, footnoted throughout the publication, include:
  • The total value of America’s commercial real estate is estimated between $18- $22 trillion.  The value of America’s commercial real estate is nearly 39%-47% of the market capitalization of all U.S. publicly traded companies. The U.S. multifamily housing sector alone is worth $3.8 trillion—worth more than the value of Microsoft, Google, and Amazon combined.
  • The combined economic contributions of new commercial building development and the operations of existing commercial buildings contributed an estimated $2.3T to GDP in 2022.
  • If U.S. commercial real estate was a country it would have the eighth-largest economy in the world as measured by GDP.
  • The commercial real estate industry supports 15.1 million jobs in the U.S.
  • CRE pays $559B in property taxes to local governments annually—comprising 72% of all local tax revenue. Commercial real estate owners pay property taxes that are 1.7X more, on average, than the tax rates paid by homeowners.
  • Pension funds, educational endowments, and charitable foundations have invested $900B in real estate. 87% and 73% of public and private sector pension funds, respectively, contain real estate investments.

  • The commercial and residential sectors represent 13% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This figure does not include “Scope 3” supply chain emissions beyond the direct control of CRE owners and developers—such as from tenant operations in leased spaces, and carbon embodied in the manufacturing process of cement, steel and other construction materials. (See March 17 Roundtable Weekly, “Reports Confirm Challenges in Scope 3 Reporting”) 

Download the 18-page pdf of The Roundtable’s Commercial Real Estate By The Numbers: 2023

#  #  #

Global Stock Markets Plunge Over Coronavirus Threat; U.S. Policymakers and CRE Industry Prepare for Potential Disruption

Deepening concerns over the international spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have prompted U.S. policymakers to consider measures for combating the potential public health and economic repercussions of the global disease, as the commercial real estate industry braces for potential disruption.

Dramatic drops in international stock markets this week reflected investor anxiety over the potential global economic impact of a virus that has, so far, infected more than 83,000 people in at least 56 countries and killed more than 2,800 – with no vaccine yet in sight.  (New York Times and Axios for coronavirus daily updates)

Today, the World Health Organization raised its risk level of the global coronavirus to “very high” – the most serious assessment in its four-stage alert system. “This is a reality check for every government on the planet. Wake up. Get ready. This virus may be on its way,” said Dr. Michael J. Ryan, deputy director of W.H.O.’s health emergency program.  (The Hill, Feb. 28)

Dr. Nancy Messonnier – director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – on Feb. 25 told reporters, “We really want to prepare the American public for the possibility that their lives will be disrupted.”  She added, “Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in the United States. It’s not a question of if this will happen, but when this will happen, and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses.”   (CDC Coronavirus Resources)

There are now 62 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, Messonnier stated during a press briefing today.   The limited guidance that has been distributed to date has primarily been directed at health care professionals, not specific industries.

Trump administration health officials on Tuesday told Senators during a closed-door briefing that a vaccine, although being rushed into clinical trials, could take more than a year before one would be widely available to the public.  (Washington Post, Feb. 25)

The Trump Administration initially requested $2.5 billion to combat the spread of the virus.  Congressional appropriators are working this weekend on an emergency coronavirus spending package of $6 billion to $8 billion and intend to take action on the House floor next week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said bipartisan discussions on a final figure are getting “close.”  (PolticoPro, Feb. 28)

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jay Powell issued a statement today to ease investor concerns.  “The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook. We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy,” Powell stated.  (The Fed, Feb. 28)

Just earlier in the week, Fed officials said it was too soon to ascertain the potential adverse effect of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy.  Fed regional presidents said they are carefully monitoring the progression of the virus and how disruptions in global supply chains may affect the U.S. before considering a decrease in interest-rates.  (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 25)

As stocks are on track for the biggest weekly losses since the 2008 financial crisis, investors have reassessed the chances that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates to as soon as March  (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 27)

CRE Industry Concerns

Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer said, “Owners and managers of all types of buildings are taking actions to better understand the potential contagion and how to best help building occupants, visitors and employees prevent further spread of the coronavirus. This viral threat to lives, businesses and economies is a top concern for our industry and we stand ready to assist public health officials as they recommend.”

The Roundtable’s Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF) and the Real Estate Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RE-ISAC) are in close contact with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide useful information to the real estate industry on the coronavirus threat as it continues to evolve. 

The Roundtable’s HSTF & the RE-ISAC will also host a conference call on Monday, March 2 with CDC’s Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Jay Butler.  

Coronavirus-related updates and resources are available to the commercial real estate industry through the RE-ISAC’s #COVID Section, which includes these recent reports:

  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary, last update 25 Feb.
  • 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the U.S., 26 Feb update (update will be provided later today and in tomorrow’s Daily Report).

Other resources include:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page includes an interim guidance based on what is currently known about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including nCoV, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Roundtable’s next membership meeting is currently scheduled for March 31 in Washington, DC (Roundtable-level members only).


Roundtable Cautions Policymakers on Potential Economic Harm of New Duties on Fabricated Structural Steel Imports

The Real Estate Roundtable this week urged Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross to reject calls from domestic producers of fabricated structural steel (FSS) to change the rules governing how trade subsidies or dumping are calculated – and to consider how potential tariffs on FSS from Canada and Mexico could have a significant impact on jobs and growth in U.S. real estate.  ( Roundtable comment letter , June 27)

Fabricated structural steel is a key material used in major real estate and infrastructure projects, including high-rise developments, bridges, and ports.

  • The Commerce Department, in conjunction with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), is conducting an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into imported FSS from Canada, China and Mexico.  (Commerce Department announcement, Feb. 26 and ITC initial report on FSS, March 2019) 
  • FSS is a key material used in major real estate and infrastructure projects, including high-rise developments, bridges, and ports. The Roundtable wrote to the USITC commissioners about the FSS issue in March, urging a cautious approach to the investigation and emphasizing the potential economic harm that new tariffs could cause.  (Roundtable comment letter, March 1) 
  • In March, the USITC found that U.S. imports of fabricated structural steel from the three identified countries are causing injury to U.S. domestic producers.  (Reuters, March 20, 2019) Commerce is now analyzing whether the imports are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value and whether the foreign producers are receiving unfair government subsidies.  If Commerce makes an affirmative finding in either of these investigations, it will impose duties on the imports to offset the amount of dumping or unfair subsidization that is found to exist.    
  • In the June 27 letter, Roundtable President Jeffrey DeBoer states, “As these investigations proceed, it is critical that they are conducted in a fair and balanced manner with due allowance for the complexities of FSS markets.”  The letter requests that Commerce “reject calls from certain parties to change the rules for calculating subsidies or dumping, such as revising sales values for completed, erected projects.”  It also explains how a decision that leads to higher construction costs will have a negative effect on new development and construction activity in the United States.  
  • The letter reiterates The Roundtable’s view that if the USITC investigation proves unlawful or inappropriate dumping or subsidies of FSS are causing injury to U.S. businesses, then action to counter those unfair trade measures is warranted. 
  • In 2017, imports of fabricated structural steel from Canada, China, and Mexico were valued, in the aggregate, at more than $1.9 billion.  (Commerce Department Fact Sheet

The preliminary ruling in the subsidies / countervailing duty case is due to be announced July 8 and the initial ruling in the dumping investigation is expected in September.