Based on the last 50 years of economic cycles, Lee said the current boom is likely to end in 2017, ‘18 or ‘19 and another upturn may begin in 2023. It will be characterized by “globalizing and knowledge.” The generation raised on the Internet, transparency, relationship-driven interaction and new technologies will be in charge.
On the residential side, Lee said homeownership by 2025 will drop below 60 percent, down from the record 69.2 percent in the mid-2000s.
“People are not buying homes — they are renting — and we will continue to move to a rental-based society,” he said. “Uber, Lyft, iTunes, Airbnb: You name it, you’re out there doing it. It’s all about renting, not owning.”
Among 100 predictions he has come up with for the next 10 years, Lee offered these:
- Buildings will be fined and taxed if they are not energy efficient and water-wise. “Every one of these things is making real estate the ‘energy czar’ for America.” He also said the federal government is likely to pass a mandatory building code that property owners will have to follow.
- Commercial buildings will include some form of urban farming, starting with the use of 700,000 excess shipping containers.
- Women will represent 40 percent of individuals in the “C suite” for CEOs, CFOs and chief technology officers. They will make decisions on leases, capital and other important matters.
- Coworking spaces will become more common as a way to utilize office buildings 24 hours a day rather than just from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Warehouses and other industrial buildings will employ robots and robots will build buildings. Consequently some 10 million jobs for humans will disappear. “I don’t know what we’re going to do with all the people.”
- Young real estate graduates will have the pick of plum industry jobs because of retiring baby boomers. “There’s not enough of you and not enough good ones and smart ones. Don’t take the cheap stuff (job offers).”
- Despite the rent-not-own trends, he said, first-time buyers with enough savings should act now because of low interest rates and plan to stay in place for several years, implying that flipping houses won’t be an option in many cases.
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