In early June, the National Association of Real Estate Editors met for its 50th annual conference to discuss 2016's top real estate trends in California and nationwide. Some of the hottest topics included the decline of the starter home, the rise of the "semi-suburb" and the impact the sharing economy and technology are having on the real estate industry.
One of the biggest trends of the year is "aging in place." As the general population grows older, older people are choosing to remodel their existing homes to meet their retirement needs. This trend is also extending to millennials, who are increasingly willing to bypass starter homes in order to buy a house that meets their future needs. Speaking of millennials, despite their reputation as tech-savvy city dwellers, most of them are aiming for the suburbs. However, they are more attracted to high-density "semi suburbs" that are walkable and offer diverse transit options. Meanwhile, the biggest hurdle for first-time home buyers remains the down payment, but there are a number of assistance programs popping up to make it easier for low- and moderate-income buyers.
Another hot topic is the way that technology continues to change the way people look for and buy their homes. Sites like Trulia, Zillow and Redfin have reduced the role of the real estate agent, and services like Ten-X have begun to change the way transactions are completed. also, the rise of the "sharing economy," which promotes the use of services like Uber, Lyft and Citi Bike, is impacting the way cities are designed. Large commercial garages are losing their appeal, while limited access neighborhoods are enjoying a resurgence.
The purchase of a home is often the biggest financial transaction that a person will ever make. As such, having the assistance of an attorney who has experience in residential real estate transactions can be advisable. There are a variety of documents that must be reviewed, including those relating to escrow and financing.
Source: Consumer Reports, "Top Real Estate Trends for 2016," Daniel DiClerico, June 10, 2016