If the overall theme for 2017 could be defined with one word, we can safely say that it was “change.” While the nature of real estate is ever-changing, the industry saw drastic shifts this past year in a number of ways. And we’re certain that 2018 will be no different. At least the one constant for this year and next is that it’s a great and exciting time to be in real estate!
Bringing downtown back to life
One of the positive real estate trends we were happy to get on board with this year was the revitalization of the urban core in cities across the U.S. Several years ago, when developers started setting their sights on new projects in suburban areas, where plenty of land was available and structures could be brand new and energy efficient, the historic downtown neighborhoods of major cities saw increased vacancies and in some cases total abandonment.
As the buyer and renter personas have changed (welcome to home-ownership Millennials!) more people have begun to crave the walkability that comes with downtown living, the charm of older structures, and the desire to preserve a time that once was – developers started to repurpose urban spaces and breathe life into downtown developments in 2017.
Creating more technologically connected “smart” cities
The concept of smart city technology hit the real estate industry by storm in 2017, and it’s changing the way developers think about their real estate projects. With sensors increasing the energy efficiency of homes and office buildings, iPhones being used to check spot availability in parking garages, and alternative transit systems popping up everywhere, real estate developers are looking for newer and better ways to incorporate technology and energy efficiency into their own properties. This is one trend making the real estate market even better in 2017 and beyond!
Introducing augmented reality
Many real estate professionals have begun to embrace the concept of virtual reality as it relates to their business. It allows residential buyers and investors to make quick buying decisions from the comfort of their private home or office, even if the listing is in a different city or country!
But what about augmented reality? It began to emerge in 2017 as a new technology, once again shaking up the real estate industry. It is proving especially useful for commercial real estate or design projects: creating an experience where future owners can see exactly what a property will look like following a remodel. Not only does it cut down on errors during construction, but it allows clients to see a final vision come to life before they’ve even purchased a property.
Considering the entire family… plus some.
Another trend we loved in 2017 was the growth of the multigenerational home. While some families are still reeling from the housing crash in 2007, homeowners are looking for ways to save money and be frugal with their future investments. Many times that includes moving multiple generations under the same roof.
Grandma can help with the house payments or avoid the expense of assisted living, or that post-grad kid can move back home with Mom and Dad to save money themselves. Builders are responding to this growing trend. Popular developers are offering more and more multigenerational home floor plans with in-law suites or garage apartments. It’s a trend that is a refreshing new-found focus on family.
While 2017, like any year, has had its ups and down, we think it has brought some wonderful changes to the real estate market. These trends have embraced technology, energy efficiency, and most importantly, family. We wonder what wonderful surprises 2018 will bring us!
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