Harvey J. Gilbert Announces The 2017-18 CRE Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate

Harvey J Gilbert

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Harvey Gilbert, CRE, Managing Partner, Cushman & Wakefield/Gilbert & Ezelle, shared just-released information about important business disruptors – the issues and trends impacting U.S. commercial and residential real estate. Gilbert is a member of The Counselors of Real Estate, the global professional association which annually announces The CRE Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate, an update of market trends and conditions which influence real estate opportunities and risks.   Members of CRE are recognized property experts who provide specialized and objective advisory services to clients.  CRE membership is by invitation.  

Political polarization and global uncertainty lead the 2017-18 list because divisiveness--which is occurring at all levels (and is fueled by news headlines, political beliefs and budget constraints) --makes decision making difficult, Gilbert explained.  Global uncertainty is also creating challenges for investment and employment in non-U.S. markets, and could negatively impact foreign investment in U.S. properties.

Other issues include the technology boom – causing extraordinary changes in how real estate is bought, sold, valued, and managed.  Robotics, predicted to replace up to 47% of today’s jobs, clearly will have a serious impact on everything from housing and retail to business offices, tenants and leasing.  Two distinct generations--the Baby Boomers and Millennials--living and working side-by-side – now also present challenges in that they have quite different preferences in the kinds of offices in which they wish to work, as well as housing choices.

The other disruptors on the CRE Top Ten Issues list are:

  • Retail disruption--with malls and downtowns adapting to nationwide store closures with new kinds of experience-driven offerings and the reinvention of the grocery stores which have anchored many upscale shopping malls;

  • Infrastructure investment – such as bridges, ports, and roads, which are now attracting new private investors;

  • Housing: the big mismatch -- affordability at all levels is challenging home ownership and even who can rent and where;

  • Lost decades of the middle class – including wage stagnation that significantly restricts purchasing power and home ownership;

  • Real estate’s emerging role in health care – illustrated by increasing demand for buildings to be designed and operated in ways that promote positive healthy outcomes;

  • Immigration – restrictions could negatively impact this large source of residential tenants and home buyers;

  • Climate change—focusing this year on sea level rises as a serious threat to property values in many parts of the U.S. should the trend in rising water levels continue.