How shared and driverless cars might change real estate.

Will autonomous vehicles make long commutes more tolerable, or will they make long commutes obsolete?  Will AVs and car sharing change communities and disrupt housing markets?

Who knew that something this cute and cuddly could be so disruptive?  Aside from the people who decided this car should look cute and cuddly?

An article posted on the website of John Burns Real Estate Consulting makes some interesting predictions.

  1. Prime real estate, previously reserved for cars, will be repurposed as infill housing.
  2. Which sounds like bad news for “drive until you qualify” housing markets on the periphery of the Bay Area but, no, once infill is filled, people will be back to commuting long distances–maybe even longer distances–because driving won’t require actually driving, and you’ll never be stuck behind someone at a green light who’s more interested in checking his Facebook page than actually driving.
  3. Urban employment will rise as infill housing lets people live closer to work.  (In the case of the Bay Area, more housing will reduce prices, allowing more people to live here.)
  4. Not surprisingly, core urban and suburban areas will have greater density.  Woo-hoo! 
  5. Transportation costs for building materials will decline, reducing the price of new construction.
  6. Home sales will decline, since pesky boomers will be able to stay in their homes even after they lose their license.
  7. And because of all this aging in place, demand for assisted-living facilities “will be less than most people expect”.  Which I guess means that the assisted-living industry shouldn’t get too excited about all those “aging boomer” headlines.
  8. And because of all this aging in place, demand for home repair and remodeling will increase.  Considering that contractors are already coming from other states to meet Silicon Valley’s huge demand for repair and remodeling, I guess this means we’ll be seeing chartered jets landing contractors at local airports–kind of like when U.S. railroads recruited settlers to their lands in the late 1800s.

That’s lots of this-changes-everything! happening “within 10-20 years”, according to the Burns article, with ride-sharing of semi-autonomous vehicles the intermediate step.  So buckle your seatbelts.

copyright © John Fyten 2017


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