According to Urban Land Institute’s annual Emerging Tends in Real Estate® report, 2019 is not to be easily predicted, with trends that are more complex and less certain – but that could also provide for a promising outlook long-term.
The report forecasts that an overall economic slowdown could make it more difficult for investors to capitalize on new opportunities. It anticipates suburban markets attracting more young adults – especially communities that offer walkable environments and access to transportation. And amenities are becoming the name of the game in today’s competitive rental market.
What’s more, technology is disrupting traditional approaches to real estate – from artificial intelligence and smart buildings in the commercial space to online platforms that are changing the way home sales are transacted. Going green and environmental sustainability continue to be part of the conversation. And with most new construction in the multifamily sector focused on the upper end of the market, concerns remain about housing affordability long term.
How do these national trends translate to the mid-Atlantic market? While we have no crystal ball, we are keeping watch in a number of areas to help our clients, residents and tenants navigate the changing real estate landscape.
There is no shortage of cranes in the sky, and Baltimore’s multifamily real estate market may begin to see oversupply and above normal vacancies. We will remain vigilant and continue to look for ways to attract and retain residents while maintaining competitive pricing as more area properties struggle to maintain occupancy levels.
Given the predicted economic slowdown and the increasing trend in flexible and shared workspaces, commercial properties are expected to see more vacancies and will need to adapt to the increased demand for greater amenities – from plush lobbies and redesign of workspaces to more advanced technologies and services that make tenants’ lives easier – if they are to remain competitive. We will continue to help our commercial real estate clients assess their properties and identify opportunities for improvements that will help them maintain their appeal.
And while the predicted correction in the home-buying market (given inventory shortages and increasing interest rates) may be perceived as a good thing, this could mean lower borrowing capacity and buying power for those individuals focused on maintaining a certain monthly housing payment. Homeowner and condo associations will need to ensure they are efficiently handling their funds, carefully planning and saving for future capital expenditures, and diligently taking advantage of opportunities that benefit their bottom-line.
At WPM, we remain committed to working together with our clients and partners to leverage our collective strength, challenging ourselves and each other to strive for continued improvement. Through careful analysis and attentive planning, we continually look for ways to improve efficiency and productivity.
Which trends or predictions will prove true in 2019? Only time will tell. But one thing remains certain – we will continue to serve the needs of our clients with a passion, level of excellence and commitment that ensures our performance adds value.