The $1.5 trillion federal infrastructure bill passed over the weekend is expected to provide a boost to commercial real estate over time.
Industry trade groups gave a thumbs up to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is seen as a long-overdue investment that will provide a boost for the economy and the industry. The act will invest in roads and bridges, water infrastructure, climate resilience and internet.
“Any time you invest in roads, bridges, airplanes, trains and boats, you’re investing in real estate,” said Mike Flood, a senior vice president of commercial/multifamily policy at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “We all want safe and efficient ways to get from where we live to where we work, play and shop.”
An analysis of the plans by Moody’s Analytics said that if both the infrastructure and the Build Back Better (BBB) acts were passed, it would increase real GDP growth by about one percentage point in 2022 and 2023 and create the addition of several hundred thousand jobs annually between 2022 and 2026, peaking at about 2.4 million jobs by the middle of the decade. After that, the impact of the bill on the economy would fade, though GDP and employment would still be permanently higher after 10 years under the BBB framework. If both bills become law, Moody’s said long-term economic growth would be strengthened, especially for lower- and middle-income Americans.
Objections to the $1.75 billion social spending bill center around the total amount of spending and concerns about adding to the federal deficit. Moody’s, however, said that although the legislation would add more than $450 billion to the federal deficit between 2022 and 2026, in the ensuing five years the deficit would be reduced by nearly $250 billion.
“The legislation is more-or-less paid for on a static basis and more than paid for on a dynamic basis through higher taxes on multinational corporations and the well-to-do and a range of several other pay-fors,” Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi and assistant director Bernard Yaros wrote.
Yaros said the items funded by the bill have benefits for commercial properties. “Public investments in surface, water and air transportation will likely spur more warehousing construction in and around ports, airports and other regional trade hubs,” he said. “In addition, public transit investments would boost the attractiveness of nearby office real estate in the eyes of investors. Finally, in the $1.75 trillion social spending bill, green energy tax credits may incent greater investments in energy efficiency in CRE properties.”
Infrastructure a Boost for CRE
Industry trade groups expressed a thumbs up for the bills. “Infrastructure is a vital concern to the success of commercial and multifamily real estate,” said Lisa Pendergast, executive director of the CRE Finance Council. “CREFC welcomes these investments in transportation, water, energy, broadband and climate resilience, all of which are critical to the short-, medium- and long-term success of these assets and the communities where they are located.”
Now the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are negotiating final details of the BBB act that would invest an additional $1.75 trillion in items that include social spending and action on climate change and green energy. A vote on BBB could come as early as next week.
For a full analysis, see: CRE Applauds $1.5T Infrastructure Plan