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Resources for COVID-19 and Beyond

During a time of great uncertainty and change, connection and information is a more important resource than ever before. Today's problems could be amplified or completely altered in a matter of days or hours, so it is vital that organizations and thought leaders frequently share knowledge, dispel rumors, and offer insight.

To meet this need, the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate launches the resource Lusk Perspectives.

Hosted by Professor and Lusk Center Director Richard K. Green, Lusk Perspectives offers timely analysis and shares accurate data vetted by leading experts on the latest developments and observations concerning policy, real estate, COVID-19 and more.

Once interviews are conducted, resources and videos will be made available here and on podcast channels as soon as possible.

 

Latest Perspectives

Recovery of Retail

June 21, 2021
Rachel Elias Wein
Rachel Elias Wein | Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Wein Plus

Rachel Elias Wein joins Richard K. Green to discuss the retail sectors returning as states continue to reopen and vaccine rates climb. Wein traces the pandemic’s impact on retail, including growth in grocery delivery, pet stores, and ecommerce as well as areas that struggled like malls and mid-sized brands. As for the future of retail, Wein notes that an overall decrease in restaurant sales towards lower-cost grocery foods puts more cash in the average consumer's pocket, which may open an opportunity for post-pandemic spending in retail, hospitality, and travel. 

Green and Wein discuss how work-from-home will impact retail, particularly weekday spending habits in urban and office hubs as an estimated 20% of the average work week (one day per week) may take place from home. Additionally, they also cover how an aging population’s spending habits may favor geographic regions, the feasibility of transitioning customer-based retail locations to more industrial-style fulfillment centers, and how the ubiquity of malls will continue to decline. 

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Casden Spring 2021 Multifamily Forecast Report

May 20, 2021
Richard K. Green
Richard K. Green | Director, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate
Tony M. Salazar
Tony M. Salazar | President, West Coast Division, McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc
Paul M. Keller
Paul M. Keller | Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mack Urban

Richard K. Green delivers new data from the Casden Spring 2021 Multifamily Forecast Report. Despite outmigration, California housing prices are still climbing, indicating that the state remains a desirable destination for many. However, California's lack of multifamily housing production remains concerning as sunbelt states with more robust construction pipelines like Texas, Arizona, and Nevada continue to siphon off California residents. Green also asserts that Southern California submarkets will largely be influenced not by whether workers return to the office, but by how often.

Panelists Paul M. Keller (Mack Urban) and Tony M. Salazar (McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc.) echo the data with anecdotal evidence from inside the industry. Salazar points out that affordable housing subsidies are offered as a flat rate across the US, and as a result those funds continue to go further in markets where housing production is less expensive. Keller remains skeptical about how the state may change and expects more of the same challenges in the future. 

Download the full report

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Living With COVID

May 19, 2021
Neha Nanda, MD
Neha Nanda, MD | Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship, Keck Medicine of USC
Scott B. Laurie
Scott B. Laurie | President and Chief Executive Officer, The Olson Company

Neha Nanda, MD is joined by Scott B. Laurie and Richard K. Green to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts from COVID-19, how organizations might manage returning to the office, and when everyday life has a chance of achieving a new normal. Nanda also reviews rules of thumb for mask-wearing as well as what vaccine hesitancy may mean for California's herd immunity.

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The Biggest And Smallest Barriers To California Housing Development

May 6, 2021
Evgeny Burinskiy
Evgeny Burinskiy | Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Development, USC Price School of Public Policy
Lois M. Takahashi
Lois M. Takahashi | Houston Flournoy Professor of State Government and Director, USC Price in Sacramento
Bert Selva
Bert Selva | President and Chief Executive Officer, Shea Homes
Dan Dunmoyer
Dan Dunmoyer | President and Chief Executive Officer, California Building Industry Association

The State of California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) estimated that 70,000-110,000 new housing units are needed per year to keep housing prices from rising faster than the national average. What are the most important barriers to new housing construction and what can be done about them? 

Scholars Evgeny Burinskiy, Lois Takahashi, and Richard Green gather with industry experts Bert Selva and Dan Dunmoyer to discuss results from a new survey of California homebuilders, planning commissioners, and housing advocates. The survey, supported by a grant from the California Homebuilding Foundation, highlights the differences in perceptions stakeholders have about the development review process. Overall, each stakeholder group universally sees both traffic congestion and affordable housing as a crucial hurdle to overcome as California grows.

View Survey Report

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A Sea Change in Economic Policy

May 4, 2021
Claudia Sahm
Claudia Sahm | Senior Fellow, Jain Family Institute

Claudia Sahm joins Richard K. Green to outline the changes in economic policy as the Federal Reserve and Congress have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sahm, who was inside the Federal Reserve during the Great Recession and recovery, has since devised the Sahm Rule Recession Indicator to help policymakers and economists determine the start of a recession based on unemployment rates.

Sahm points out that economic policy has new goals, new tools are being considered, and change will come with growing pains. As for new goals, Sahm sees interest in concepts like full employment, reducing inequality, and acknowledging racism as harbingers of a new school of thought, and one that is less skittish about inflation as the Fed works to build momentum in economic downturns. The new tools and approaches like the child benefit cash transfers in the latest stimulus package display a shift towards providing direct aid, rather than commonly used tax incentives or other targeted programs. Sahm also acknowledges that change means pain while data catches up to policy for the simple reason that some benefits or programs have never before been attempted in the US.

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