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Real Estate Recommendations

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I could use some guidance. I’m taking a difficult real estate investment course this summer -- the last class I need before I can graduate. This was actually one of the only classes offered over the summer term that would satisfy my graduation requirement.

I was originally excited because it’s a shorter term than usual, but now I’m beginning to second guess the whole thing. We also have assignments more frequently because of the abbreviated term. These aren’t simple readings, either. We’re talking about a full-blown research project each week.

That’s why I need some help. I’m in way over my head. This coming week, I’m supposed to present an interesting trend in foreign or domestic real estate. Any direction would be much appreciated.

The condensed timeline for summer terms almost always translates into a more rigorous academic experience. Combine the accelerated curriculum with advanced subject matter and you have a recipe for some of the most intense weeks of your student life. Fortunately, it sounds like you’re only taking the one course. Imagine for a moment having to endure two summer term classes simultaneously. Things can always be worse.

As for your mini-research project, fortunately, there’s no shortage of emerging trends to highlight. You might consider starting with the domestic market since it’s likely to resonate more with the immediate audience. Patrick Sisson at Curbed wrote an article covering The Land Institute’s recent annual symposium. His piece discusses several compelling realities across the spectrum of real estate development. Take, for instance, the rise of coworking and curated experiences in the ongoing office space evolution. He then draws everyone’s attention to the aging Baby Boomer generation and how their looming mass retirement is expected to impact housing. And let’s not forget about his short blurb about technology enablement in real estate (e.g., prefabricated and 3D printed homes).

Patrick isn’t the only one publicizing thoughtful real estate trends, either. The Forbes Real Estate Council highlighted their own series of real estate trends to watch in 2018. You’ll find some immediate overlap in shared recognition of community-driven living and coworking. They highlight a greater shift toward smaller living (e.g., reducing the carbon footprint) and short-term renting, too. Many of the trends identified by them are clearly visible across American cities, but you’d be remiss to think that they are somehow are limited to our own domestic borders.

Analysts at Deloitte released a comprehensive global report capturing the commercial real estate outlook for 2018. They point to some meaningful trends emerging across international markets. One such example is the rapidly increasing reliance on financial technology or “fintech” within the commercial real estate community. There’s also the rise of automation combined with talent acquisition and leadership challenges to overcome in the near future. While things certainly sound promising, they also sound complicated. Rapid change is making it that much more difficult for people to successfully navigate the real estate market.

It isn’t hard to find instances of overwhelming complexity. Entire markets have collapsed as a result of undue complexity. Take the Australian real estate market as an illustrative case study. Much like our own financial crisis precipitated by irresponsible real estate investing, Australia, too, is facing a similar crisis. News reports indicated that the market has seen increasing pricing for almost thirty years. Only more recently have things began to cool down there. Greg Jericho at The Guardian announced only a few months ago that Australia’s housing market might recover. Until then, however, those searching for real estate are forced to tap into as many external resources as possible. That might include data on home loans provided by Bankwest or even Deloitte’s Australian Mortgage Report from last year. Having access to that information could yield distinct advantages for those in search of the best real estate opportunities.

This is all to say that you have ample material to include in your mini research project. The Deloitte reports alone should give you enough insight to impress the professor. Remember to go beyond describing the possible outcomes. Demonstrating a clear understanding of the possible implications is equally as important as itemizing the measurable results.

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