Those of us in the real estate practice—and particularly in areas concerning real estate valuation such as eminent domain and property tax appeals—are obviously quite concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our clients’ property values as we all proceed through these very uncertain times. I think about two upcoming quick-take hearings that I have for clients in late March and early April. The quick take hearing is the critical time during an eminent domain proceeding when the court grants the government title to and possession of the real property needed for whatever public project necessitated the taking. The date of this transfer of title and possession—the so-called “take date”—is the date on which the property will be valued for purposes of determining the damages that the property owner is owed as “just compensation” for the taking. Will the unfortunate timing of my clients’ quick take dates in the midst of this pandemic affect their ability to recover just compensation? It’s anybody’s guess at this point. Josh Folland and his group of appraisers at Valbridge Property Advisors have interviewed Twin Cities real estate professionals to try to assess the potential impacts of the pandemic at this early stage. I’m pleased to pass on Valbridge’s newsletter and report for your information. If you have thoughts (or experiences) of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Stay safe and stay well.

Valbridge notes that market sentiment is likely to change as the impacts of the virus become more clear. They will continue to survey the market and will publish updates to this report.