Real Estate

This is one of those areas where green is green, green meets green, green begets green… however you want to think about it.

It is turning out that the outlook for investments in smart growth real estate are better than for investments in sprawl(!).

“Next-generation projects will ori ent to infill, urbanizing suburbs, and transit-oriented develop ment. Smaller housing units-close to mass transit, work, and 24-hour amenities-gain favor over large houses on big lots at the suburban edge. People will continue to seek greater convenience and want to reduce energy expenses. Shorter commutes and smaller heating bills make up for higher infill real estate costs.”

In the near term, the report advises investors to “buy or hold multifamily” as “the only place with a hint of hope, because of demographic demand” as a large contingent of echo boomers seek their first homes.  In a section titled “markets to watch,” the report also advises investors to favor convenient urban office (see graph), retail, entertainment and recreation districts where there are mass transit alternatives to driving.  Investors are advised to shy away from, among other things, fringe areas “with long car com mutes or where getting a quart of milk means taking a 15- minute drive.”

The report is Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010 and its conclusions are pretty obvious. What the report signifies is this outlook working its way into the consciousness of real estate developers and investors. Change the diaper, change the landscape.