- Walkability continues to be an asset, even in a post-pandemic world.
- Potential buyers may be attracted to the proximity or variety of employers in your city.
- Dig into any future plans your city may have to restore and revive major municipal areas.
According to PwC’s latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, 10 U.S. cities top the charts for investment and development activity this year. Raleigh, N.C.; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Dallas; Charlotte, N.C.; Tampa, Fla; Salt Lake City; Washington D.C.; Boston; and Long Island, N.Y., are dominating the real estate market based on growth, homebuilding outlook, affordability, and job prospects.
If you happen to live in one of these locations, you can anticipate a successful 2022 for you and your clients as real estate investment activity is expected to be high. If you live outside of these locations, there are characteristics you can you take away from these hot markets and replicate or look for in your own real estate market.
According to the report, these markets are ranked the highest due, in part, to their reputation as “interesting, lively places with ample employment opportunities and a good quality of life, even as housing affordability challenges intensify.” Here are some of the key lessons to be learned from the most promising markets of 2022.
1. Walkability Is a Powerful Selling Point
One thing all of these cities have in common is an interesting, lively downtown area—and buyers want to be close to the action. While location has always been an important factor in real estate, walkability is becoming a key draw for those looking to purchase a home. Proximity to restaurants, parks, shopping, schools, public transportation, and other destinations has buyers paying top dollar for homes in walkable neighborhoods. The focus is on walkability specifically—even being a five- to 10-minute drive doesn’t have quite the same appeal.
Do your research on different neighborhoods in your area and start highlighting the walkability score of your listings. Even post-pandemic, walkability continues to be an asset as public transportation options are limited or simply a less favorable option.
2. Pay Attention to Millennials, But Don’t Forget Boomers
The highest-rated real estate markets are seeing generational trends, but this rings true across the country. Millennials are now firmly planted in their home-buying years, while baby boomers are starting to look toward retirement. Both circumstances mean a predicted spike in buyers in the year to come, with millennials and baby boomers accounting for almost half of the population in the United States. Educate yourself on the demands and interests of each group to better understand what your clients are seeking.
3. The Job Market Matters
Of course, the economy has a direct impact on the real estate industry, and all of these top cities boast low unemployment rates and ample job opportunities. Promote the proximity or variety of employers in your city to potential buyers, especially newer headquarters that will likely implement a big hiring push in the near future. Military bases, universities, technology hubs, medical centers, and fulfillment centers all create large draws for employees who are typically willing to relocate.
In addition, many companies realized during the strict work-from-home days of the pandemic that employees can be productive and engaged in remote work situations. Focus on amenities like tech centers and connectivity that can attract people who are now permanently telecommuting, a trend that experts say will continue well after the pandemic winds down.
4. It’s All About the Suburbs
The pandemic’s remote work models, coupled with higher taxes in cities—due to stunted tourism and a general growing aversion to dense crowds among the population—have had another impact: accelerated suburban growth. Families are looking for the balance between price per square foot and quality of life, and many are leaving highly populated cities for more rural, spacious areas with easy access to outdoor activities. Take a second look at neighborhoods in and around your city that previously weren’t considered to be desirable.
5. Revitalization Efforts Are a Draw
Cities working to clean up and improve their infrastructure are clearly catching the eye of potential buyers. New development and construction, both residential and commercial, an increasing number of restaurants and entertainment options, and the addition or improvement of features like parks, bike paths, and walking trails, are all examples of revitalization efforts taking place in America’s hottest real estate markets. Find out what efforts are being made in different neighborhoods across your city, and dig into any future plans your city may have to restore and revive major municipal areas.
While we’re still in uncharted territory, most experts are predicting that real estate prices will fall over the next couple of years as we deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers are looking for areas that will give them the biggest bang for their buck—cities that balance home affordability with a specific quality of life. By taking note of some of the biggest draws in the top real estate markets across the country, you can work to replicate similar strategies in your own area.