Summer 2010: Megatrends for the Decade

The tastes and attitudes of Generation Y, which represents today's 20-somethings and teenagers, will be what determines what gets built and sold. Environmental challenges that cannot be ignored, such as water shortages and more expensive energy, will also play a huge role in the next decade. Building communities for this new era will require business people as well as government regulators to adopt new strategies.

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In This Issue

During the coming decade, demographic changes, as well as changes in consumer desires and behavior, will have a tremendous effect on real estate markets and on how our communities function and grow. As the baby boomers begin to reach retirement age, they are being replaced as the market bellwether by Generation Y, which represents today’s 20-somethings and teenagers. This group is larger...

The Future Generation of Home Buyers


There are as many names for Generation Y — Echo Boomers, Millenials, Generation Next — as opinions about the specific years this generation spans. But it’s not the names or the exact years that matter. What matters is that Generation Y, which trumps the baby boomers in size, is about to become a force in the...

Current studies indicate a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, but experts wonder if it’s sustainable.

By Judy Newman

Current studies indicate a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, but experts wonder if it’s sustainable.

If you have walked to the coffee shop instead of driving, if you have carpooled to work with a friend or if you...

By Steve Wright 

Urban Dwellers Seek Inexpensive Alternative to the High Price of Vehicle Ownership


A young couple in the city uses transit to get to work, but needs a car on the weekends. A 30-something lawyer lives downtown without a car, but still needs to pick up clients and travel for cases. Or maybe, a single parent doesn’t...

City planners are increasingly installing separated bike paths as a way to accommodate smart, sustainable urban growth.

Bicycle lanes are getting an extreme makeover. No longer are new bike lanes painted strips hugging auto lanes. In a growing number of cities, bicycle lanes have achieved a status entirely independent from their car-lane kin through physical separation...

Clean and reliable water supplies are fundamental to urban growth and prosperity. In the last decade, growth regions worldwide faced a growing strain as water supplies dwindled and demand for urban, energy, agricultural and environmental uses soared. Many American cities now face conditions of water scarcity — which will become more widespread with the onset of global climate change....

Prognosticating during a recession as long and deep as we have seen the last couple of years is a tricky business, indeed. Is this a pause in pre-existing trends that will resume once the down cycle ends? Or is it a reset that creates entirely new conditions, the period at the end of one sentence and the capital letter of the next?

Prior to the real estate crash, one of the hottest new...

Judy and Michael Spock wanted to age in place in the home where they have lived for 25 years in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, but weren’t sure they could manage it. In their late 70s, they had health issues and were slowing down. Michael has had two heart attacks and a stroke. Judy has had a heart attack, two mini strokes and needs knee surgery.

“We looked into...

By Gary Fineout

The way that Scott Muldavin sees it — going green is not just a trendy buzzword.

It’s a significant trend that everyone who deals with real estate must know about and understand. Governments across the entire nation are embracing programs and regulations meant to encourage both energy efficiency and sustainability.

Some states, for...

Property Taxes are a Solution to Financing the Cost of Home Energy Retrofits

Communities across the country are picking up the PACE.

Short for Property Assessed Clean Energy, PACE programs enable cities and counties to provide loans to homeowners — and in some cases business owners — who want to go green and save green by making energy-conscious...

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A free, semi-annual magazine published by NAR, On Common Ground presents a wide range of views on smart growth issues, with the goal of encouraging dialog among REALTORS®, elected officials, and other interested citizens.

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