As we round the corner into a third “unprecedented” year of the coronavirus pandemic, it can be hard to guess what’s to come in the months ahead – but luckily, we know just the folks who can fill in those gaps.
Our experts share their predictions for what we can expect in the new year. Check back this time next year to see how accurate they were…
Housing Market in 2022
“Housing prices continue to rise but more due to supply constraints,” Riordan says.
On the other hand, Riordan explains, existing homeowners have seen their neighbors successfully monetize their equity by selling. “More of them will want to do that. Thus, more homes may become available for sale. If the supply increases, housing prices could be curbed.”
Renters may not be as lucky in 2022. “Rising inflation may have a deleterious effect on those who rent,” Riordan says. “While rent growth has been slowing down as we approach the winter months, the national median rent has increased by 17.8% since January 2021. In comparison, rent growth was 2.6% in the pre-pandemic years of 2017-2019 when inflation ran much lower.
“If more of those owners who wish to sell in 2022 are successful, the demand for apartments could intensify and push rents higher.”
Retail and Consumer Behaviors in 2022
Manveer Mann, assistant professor of Marketing, says companies may focus more on green and sustainable goals. “Sustainability initiatives will continue to become more important as climate change becomes a concern for a growing number of people,” Mann says.
“Consumers will also continue to prioritize wealth and well-being, and among some segments a slow pace of life will be preferred.”
Athletic apparel retailer Lululemon is one example, “offering yoga and/or meditation classes within the store,” Mann says. “You can book time to shop within the store and participate in the classes.” In sum, a positive experience that elevates the shopping environment.
U.S. and Global Economy in 2022
“The U.S. economy will continue its speedy recovery from the blow that COVID-19 brought about in 2020,” says Luis Portes, professor of Economics. “From a peak of 14.8% unemployment rate in April of 2020, we now stand just above 4% as of November 2021. This is not far from the 3.5%, 50-year low reading from February 2020.”
Portes adds that COVID-19 pointed out not only the weak points in global public health, but also in how we run our economies. “One of these was the overloaded and understaffed supply chains,” he says. “Policies aimed at enhancing port operations have yielded positive results by decongesting the better known cases, such as the port of L.A./Long Beach.”
And finally, what can we expect with regards to inflation? “The resurgence of inflation will depend on whether we can carry on with the recovery, or if omicron (or further mutations) will put the service sector on hold and household spending is channeled to manufactured goods, which need well-functioning supply chains to find their way to our homes,” says Portes.
Travel in 2022
In the immediate future, winter travel will be quite strong. “People definitely have COVID cabin fever and are eager to get away,” Samuels says, adding that destinations offering snowsports will be popular, given the outdoor element. The same fervor for outdoor activities will likely apply to summer bookings.
- Offer something unique or a special event.
- Follow safety guidelines. “Look for places that have good controls over COVID, such as cruise ships.”
- Newly reopened. “They are eager to get your business and may have the best bargains.”
Other key indicators of a strong travel year include the rebound of business and convention bookings; high prices for summer travel to Europe, and the rise in stock of theme park, cruise line, hotel and airline companies.
Psyched but still hesitant about getting out there? “If you are vaccinated it is very safe,” Samuels says. “Life is just too short not to go back to enjoying [travel]!”
Social Justice Issues in 2022
“After the acquittal in the Rittenhouse case, we can expect more repeat events with militiamen attending social justice protests to antagonize,” says Jason Williams, associate professor of Justice Studies. “The implications of that verdict are far-reaching because it gives a blank check and instructions on how far-right individuals can attend these legitimate events and commit atrocities with impunity.”
“Of course, the subtext to all the above is the racial unrest that has long plagued our society,” Williams says. “With the constant gridlock in Washington, D.C., much is left to determine whether or not a robust national response will come to do away with racial inequality and other social ills.”
To schedule an interview with our experts, contact the Media Relations team.