For the second straight year, the U.S. economy was largely determined by effects of the pandemic. CoStar News looked at five key charts that defied early predictions for 2021. It remains to be seen if the changes will be permanent or whether this year will hold just as many surprises. Here’s what many got wrong:

1. Commercial property investors have been waiting for a boom in distressed sales, hoping for bargains. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, owners hung on, and many sold for record prices.


2. A year ago, the apartment industry was facing down the possibility of an eviction crisis. Further, landlords worried some renters might want to buy a rural home or live with their suburban parents for an extended time. Instead, they returned to cities. Apartment rent growth hit 11.3%, a record high.


3. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell repeatedly called the inflation rate “transitory,” but it doesn’t appear to be coming down anytime soon from sky-high levels not seen in decades.



4. The pandemic laid waste to retail businesses in 2020, causing numerous bankruptcies. But parts of the industry found their footing last year with more store openings than closings.


5. The jobs market returned to a pre-pandemic level very quickly. The unemployment rate dipped under 4% as many left the workforce entirely.


CoStar News

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