The number of distressed residential properties spilling onto the U.S. market is expected to depress the national median price for a single-family home another 5 to 10 percent before bottoming by year’s end or early 2011. More than 3 million homes are expected to go into foreclosure this year, with one in four homeowners owing more on their mortgage than their house is worth.
According to Urban Land’s roundtable of housing experts (page 46), markets will be dominated by local public homebuilders, while smaller development companies will focus on small-scale infill development where sites are reasonably priced. With construction costs leveling off, home sizes will shrink. Expect smaller single-family lots and townhouses. Federal stimulus money and some state and local financial assistance are being made available for affordable housing projects. Green design, much discussed lately, is beginning to give projects a marketing edge, participants said.
To many people, the idea of modern design as a solution to homelessness might seem impractical, if not paradoxical. What does one have to do with the other? Quite a lot, especially for Team HETED (Homeless Empowerment Through Efficient Development), winner of the ULI Los Angeles 1,000 Homes Competition. Going up against five other teams formed by local experts in architecture, design, development, finance, construction, and social work, Team HETED delivered the most viable housing solution to a serious problem endemic to Los Angeles.
The Obama administration will back Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s 30/10 Plan, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced at the ULI Los Angeles TOD Summit 2010, held in Hollywood in June. The support is a major boost for 30/10, which calls for speeding up 12 major urban rail projects throughout the region, completing them in the next decade rather than the originally scheduled 30 years.
The Fogelman family of Memphis, long associated with real estate and development, has given $2 million to the University of Memphis to help it become a world leader in sustainable real estate. The gift was made to support research into and discussion of sustainable real estate development and to improve understanding of how the industry collectively addresses sustainable development and what its role might be. The need for this type of program first emerged from discussion at a ULI conference. Robert Fogelman, son of Martha and Robert Fogelman and trustee of the Martha and Robert Fogelman Family Foundation, serves as program chair on the ULI Memphis executive committee. The Fogelman family is acting on what it sees as a tremendous need.
Development aligned with specific tenant demand and improving sectors—particularly the energy, education, medicine, federal government, and biotechnology sectors— presents the best opportunities for office development, office market expansion, and long-term economic growth.
Nine times out of ten, the U.S. office market lags the performance of the overall economy. In the current recession, commercial real estate continued that pattern.
A growing group of developmentally disabled children and young adults will need housing that allows them to live away from their families but still provides the medical, therapeutic, and vocational support they need.
During the next 15 years, more than 500,000 children with autism-related disorders will become adults, many cared for by aging parents who likely will not outlive them. Adults with autism currently have few options for housing apart from their families. They are too old to receive continued care from the special education departments of public schools and too fragile to live on their own with no supervision.
Successful transit-oriented developments (TODs) meet demand for compact, walkable, mixed-use development-the same markets that are also likely to see an important amenity value in easy access to high-quality transit service. At the same time, the more people, jobs, and services that exist within walking distance of transit service, the higher the potential transit ridership and fare generation, and the more cars that can be pulled off congested roads. TOD is a win-win for land use and transportation.
Five leaders in residential real estate development discuss U.S. housing development trends: why smaller unit and lot sizes are becoming more common, which neighborhoods are holding value in the economic downturn, how demographic shifts are likely to influence the buyer and renter markets, how the public sector is working with the private sector to help keep planned developments alive, and how the recession has affected the movement toward incorporating sustainable design.
Conservation development technologies have been around for decades, but only in the past few years have developers, conservation organizations, landowners, and local governments begun to understand the potential of these technologies to link land conservation with land development while providing meaningful protection of natural resources. In addition, ample evidence exists that shows homebuyers will pay premium prices to live next to nature, green space, and even certain types of agriculture.
Though less clear, Transportation costs are second only to housing expenses in a typical family’s budget. But efforts to make transportation costs more transparent are underway. The ULI J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing, working with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), has developed customizable housing and transportation calculators for three regions: Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. These tools allow homebuyers and renters to enter assumptions about driving and commuting behavior into the calculator and compare transportation costs at different addresses. CNT is also developing a tool that will soon appear on online real estate listing sites in metropolitan areas nationwide, providing information about average transportation expenses for households in a given neighborhood.