Pre-Pandemic Economic Drivers Support Mountain Region Recovery; Lower Density Compared With Coastal Markets Offers Favorable Option
Underlying lifestyle drivers maintain a positive regional outlook during uncertain times. Prior to the economic shutdown, the Mountain region’s largest markets were recording strong rates of employment growth and net migration that fueled tenant and buyer demand for commercial properties and residential units. While impacted by COVID-19, the number of recorded cases and jobs lost in the eight-state territory trailed other U.S. regions, prompting widespread reopenings in May. Moving forward, these factors and the Mountain’s low population density position regional epicenters and operators to potentially face fewer post-pandemic hurdles than other areas of the country. However, uncertainty still looms as the region has recorded a recent acceleration in new cases, highlighted by an increased virus spread in Arizona. Should this trend persist, another wave of safe-at-home orders could be enacted, hindering the recovery in the Phoenix metro.