Commercial Real Estate Crash: Is it More Devastating than the 2008 Financial Crisis?

The commercial real estate market has been hit hard by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses closing down or downsizing, many property owners are struggling to make ends meet. As a result, some experts are predicting a crash that could rival the 2008 financial crisis. In this article, we will explore the factors contributing to the current situation and delve deeper into the potential impact on the economy and the real estate industry.

Commercial Real Estate Crash: Is it More Devastating than the 2008 Financial Crisis?


The commercial real estate industry is reeling from the unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to online shopping, remote work, and low-interest rates has impacted the industry resulting in a lack of funds for buyers. Companies like Goldman Sachs and Pimco are promoting alternative investments, such as art, for diversifying portfolios. In light of these developments, many are wondering if the commercial real estate crash is more devastating than the 2008 financial crisis.

Shift to Online Shopping and Remote Work

The rise of e-commerce giants such as Amazon and the current pandemic have dealt a heavy blow to brick-and-mortar retail stores. These stores have been struggling to stay open, with many facing permanent closure. This trend has significantly impacted commercial real estate as the demand for retail spaces has dropped drastically. With the shift to remote work, the demand for office spaces has also decreased, with many businesses opting for work-at-home models.

Low-Interest Rates and Lack of Funds for Buyers

Low-interest rates have encouraged many investors to focus on other sectors like stocks and bonds, leading to minimal investment in commercial real estate. The lack of funds for buyers has further made it difficult for commercial property owners to sell properties. Additionally, many developers have been forced to postpone projects as they struggle to secure funding, leading to a slowdown in the industry.

Alternative Investments: Art

Goldman Sachs and Pimco have recently been promoting alternative investments such as art for diversifying portfolios. One company taking advantage of this trend is Masterworks. Masterworks allows investors to purchase shares in great artworks from artists like Picasso, Banksy, and Warhol. This trend could further impact commercial real estate as investors look for more lucrative investment opportunities.

Economic Predictions

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley predict that prices for commercial real estate could fall by as much as 40%, and office space vacancies have increased. However, warehouse commercial real estate is not being significantly impacted, but Class A (business office) buildings are taking a hit. Despite these predictions, some believe that investing in commercial real estate in the next 12-36 months may be a good opportunity as some properties may be bought at discounted prices.

Pat’s Story

Pat bought two commercial real estate properties and is planning to buy another, but he operates them himself and is not leasing them out. This is a risky move, but Pat believes that he can make a profit by being a hands-on investor. His approach may be seen as an alternative investment strategy, but many experts warn against getting too involved in commercial real estate without the proper experience and knowledge.


The commercial real estate crash is a significant issue that needs attention. Although there are concerns that it could be more devastating than the 2008 financial crisis, many investors are still optimistic. Despite the uncertainty, investing in commercial real estate in the next few years may present a unique opportunity for those willing to undertake the risks associated with the industry.


  1. Will the current commercial real estate crash be worse than the 2008 financial crisis?
  2. Are office space vacancies expected to increase?
  3. Is investing in alternative investments like art a good idea right now?
  4. Can investing in commercial real estate be profitable in the next few years?
  5. Is it advisable to buy commercial real estate properties without leasing them out?
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