Pedestrian Friendly and Transit Oriented Neighborhoods
Millenials are increasing the rate at which they purchase homes. They have a strong preference for being able to walk to nearby shops and take public transit to work. This has already been reshaping some regions as employers have moved shop to be able to better attract the talent they need. As Millenials purchase homes at a steadily increasing rate, they will put additional pressure on development to meet their expectations if it doesn’t want to die on the vine.
Smaller, More Affordable New Homes
With homelessness on the rise nationwide due in part to people of ordinary means being priced out of the housing market entirely, many communities are passing inclusionary zoning laws to keep housing available to middle and lower income residents. Developers who want to stay in the game will see better returns if they seek to proactively make sure that some of the housing stock they are building is affordable from the get-go. Otherwise, they may find themselves left behind as their competitors come to the table with plans that get approved that much faster for not having to be revised to meet these new requirements.
The Internet of Things
Aging Baby Boomers are increasingly being empowered to keep their independence longer by newly developed electronics. Some of these are being incorporated into housing as part of the smart home trend. The more the house can take care of itself, by turning lights off automatically or watering the lawn when sensors indicate it is too dry, the less the homeowner needs to deal with personally. These trends have the added benefit of not being stigmatized by associations with “handicap accessibility.” Instead, they are marketed as a convenience that has special appeal for some.
While Millenials want to buy, rising interest rates and high prices make some homeowners reluctant to sell. This is putting pressure on some existing housing markets that can only be relieved by building new. For the smart developer, this is an opportunity that has the smell of money.
Sites like Zillow have already dipped their feet into this exciting development and 2017 holds the promise of even more virtual home reviews. With the onset of the internet and online lisings, the shift to virtual showings has been inevitable for years.