By Obie Walli, National Real Estate Investor
Perhaps more so than any other industry, oil and its pricing volatility impacts all elements of the U.S. economy, both positively and negatively. Looking at it from a macroeconomic level, higher oil prices are good for some industries, and yet bad for others—and the same goes for lower prices. So overall, how does oil and energy affect the commercial real estate profession? Well, almost in the exact same way, if you break it down.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration., U.S. oil production will grow to 9.31 million barrels daily by 2016, so the industry is still healthy production-wise. But for the past few years, prices have remained low and are expected to remain steady or even decline for the foreseeable future. Where this has the greatest impact for commercial real estate is in the retail sector. It’s a simple equation: Reduced gas prices cause a boost in discretionary income and the end result is additional spending for the country. Money that would be typically earmarked towards filling car and home gas tanks now remains in the wallets of U.S. consumers and retailers are the clear beneficiaries.