Summer 2011: The New Norm

As the real estate market evolves toward a new normal marked by growing urbanization, greater sustainability, and more transportation choices, the recession may also be remembered as a tipping point for smart growth.

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In This Issue

Since the great decline in real estate values and sales began in 2006 and 2007, real estate experts and commentators have been trying to predict just what a full recovery might look like. There is general agreement that the number of sales and the values of all types of real estate are not headed back to the peak levels of 2005 at any time in the near future, even after the economy improves...

The Real Estate World Has a New Look As the Economy Recovers


The black cloud that’s rained bad news on the real estate market for the past four years only seems like it will last forever. Sooner or later, the sky will clear.

The long-range forecast: increasing sun but with a 100 percent chance of change.

“There are still a lot of...

2011 NAR Community Preference Survey


A new survey by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reveals where most Americans would like to live — and it’s no big surprise. A single-family home on a large lot remains the American Dream.

But that’s just the first layer of the onion. As the 2011 Community Preference Survey peels...

With new retrofits and redevelopment efforts, suburbs are preparing to handle population growth.


Suburb bashing is a popular pastime. Soccer moms. Mini-vans. Lawn gnomes. Who can resist?

But suburbia is more than fodder for sit-coms. As the real estate market moves toward a new normal, many suburbs — especially those nearest the urban core...

Universities are partnering with towns to create vibrant, campus town centers.

Smart growth principles are going to college all over the country. A growing number of universities are working with local government officials, developers and planners to create new centers of campus activity providing housing, restaurants, stores, bars, clubs and coffee shops...

REIT apartment projects respond to growing demand for rental housing


It may take several years before single-family home construction starts to climb again, thanks in large part to overbuilding during the boom years of the sub-prime mortgage craze. But that doesn’t mean all housing construction is flat.

In fact, Real Estate Investment Trusts (...

Smart Growth and the Municipal Bottom Line


It’s time for a critical eye on the bottom line. Municipal governments are faced with ever-increasing demands on their budgets and trying to make ends meet as property tax revenues aren’t at levels previous to the recession, sales tax receipts have just started to climb, and lingering unemployment...

Retail development has been and will remain scarce, though redevelopment of existing retail space will continue to evolve.


The retail sector has taken a beating over the past few years, leading to a 13 percent vacancy rate in 2010, according to George Ratiu, an economist at the National Association of REALTORS®. Consumers are only now beginning to...

An easier commute, environmentally-sensitive buildings, and good-quality housing and neighborhood amenities may play an important role in office market decisions in many cities, experts say.

Is it a trend for the future?

Homes with ornate entry foyers, formal living and dining rooms and large, outdoor kitchen spaces may be a common sight on home and garden television shows.

In reality, though, they are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and it’s a trend that could impact the direction of smart growth in the future.

Results of a...


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About On Common Ground

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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