No matter what year we’re in, market shifts can take place overnight, and 2018 is no exception. For consumers, it’s always interesting to see what the next up-and-coming trend is either as a curiosity seeker or a future investor.
Fifteen members of Forbes Real Estate Council collected their observations to describe what they consider to be the most surprising market shifts, and we thought we’d give you a peek into some of their findings.
If you’ve never heard of blockchain and how it’s changing the world, it’s time to wake up. Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, recorded chronologically and publicly. Blockchain-based applications are changing the way buyers, sellers and investors interact with one another and the properties in which they maintain interests, ushering in a new world of unleashed liquidity, transparency and disintermediation.
While west coast consumers may never have heard of them, elsewhere in the country co-ops are seeing a resurgence due to their affordability in a high-priced sellers’ market. When you buy into a co-op, you become a shareholder in a corporation that owns the property. As a shareholder, you are entitled to exclusive use of a housing unit in the property. But bureaucracy remains high with co-ops, with boards limiting what occupants can and can’t do with their properties.
While it’s no secret that online sales are killing malls, members of the council are reporting a number of attempts at adaptive reuse, including successful and creative conversions of abandoned retail spaces to multi-family dwellings.
Even if you ignore headlines that downplay it because it’s not happening fast enough, home ownership by millennials is on the rise. Surprisingly, this demographic has even become a significant portion of the luxury rental market, while baby boomers finally take advantage of a bullish real estate market and begin to trade places with their younger brethren, becoming renters again.
One of the top trends the council discussed is the steady stream of new construction, keeping rental prices mostly in check for 2018. While a stable pipeline of new buildings means lower rent growth, it will still exceed long-term averages across the U.S.
A sellers’ market is just as impactful in different ways as a buyers’ market. For the real estate industry, however, there is an inventory drought that has become increasingly bothersome to some and a boon to others. It could be a conflation of reasons that are demographic, economic, or regulatory (such as zoning) but the fact is, not many people are selling right now.
Another clear trend that has emerged is how real estate is becoming more and more dependent on the internet and technlogyin nearly all aspects of the industry. Regardless, council members remain frustrated by how that abundance of technology capable of serving consumers in extraordinary ways continues to encounter resistance by the industry’s “old guard” still fighting to protect itself. Included in that trend is the proliferation of visual marketing, with virtual staging, drone video and photography, virtual tours, interactive floor plans and more quickly taking over. This technology is no longer a novelty as agents, homeowners and house hunters alike will come to expect this level of service.
Source: Forbes, TBWS
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