2016 was a challenging year for real estate. Most of the year was rapt with uncertainty in the aftermath of two seismic events—Brexit and the US elections. Anyone thinking of buying property became hesitant and decided that it was more prudent to wait until there is more clarity about how these unexpected events would affect the market.
Buyers in Mexico were worried that a wall might be built sending the country into an economic recession. English investors were concerned that the inevitable departure from the EU would be cataclysmic for the domestic property market.
Analysts at Lamudi have spent some time in the lab crunching the stats, and the following is the five trends they predict will shape real estate in 2017.
Steady as she goes
With torpid real GDP growth across most of the emerging markets, governments are reluctant to raise interest rates. So where does that leave the market? In many cases due to difficulties securing construction financing and the cash required to purchase prize locations, there is now a situation where investors will look to avoid risk more so than usual. In brief, this will create a calm market, where real estate prices remain stable. While construction activity is expected to pick up pace in the second half of 2017, the start of the New Year will be slower to gain momentum.
Emerging markets are a portfolio essential
A smart move for the New Year is to hedge your investments in Europe and the US by including some higher risk real estate investment funds. In a world of unattractive global investment options going against the grain might be the ticket to prosperity. Despite the International Monetary Fund cutting its global growth forecast to 3.4 percent for 2017, there is hope in the developing world.
Attack of the drones
Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones will be the big tech advancement in 2017. Real estate agents will look to gain an edge over competitors by providing flyovers of properties for exclusive properties and agents. Home buyers and sellers will be able to use drones to their advantage. One caveat: certain flights will need the local tower’s permission along with a flight plan filed online. There is a real danger that drones could crash into commercial planes; considering the damage a bird can do this is something users need to bear in mind.
Optionality is back
As investors flee to relative safe havens; developers and investors are seeking solace in multi-use projects. Owners of versatile buildings can benefit from finding the maximum rent from the ideal tenant; whether that is through offices, retail outlets, or residential blocks. Flexible leases will become more common in a co-working type of arrangement. Lamudi—the global property platform whose global HQ is in the trendy Kreuzberg area of Berlin, Germany share their building with other Rocket Internet startups. This is an ideal way for owners to get the full rental income while companies can engage in knowledge sharing.
Smart home tech and IoT
In 2016 we read a lot about the revolution that the Internet-of-Things (IoT) promised and 2017 may be the year for smart home technology to become more widespread. The problem is that there is a lot of competition, but no single company has managed to combine multiple appliances and apps into a seamless catch-all product. That could soon change with Google and Apple entering the market, giants of uniform user experiences. So brace yourself for smart houses that make life very, very easy for you.