Last week, Orlando became the hub of the home design and residential real estate industry. The National Association of Home Builder’s annual joint convention — in conjunction with the national association of the kitchen and bath industry — attracted over 80,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center. This year’s International Builders’ Show highlighted the latest in new home design and development. Although the building sector is in the midst of a nice upswing, there remains a great deal of disruption, primarily from demographic shifts and new technology that impacts how homes are built and bought. The International Builders’ Show offered a week of education sessions, networking, and a sneak peak at the latest home design and construction trends. The show offered a great deal of insights for any professional or company connected to the new home, multifamily, and 55+ sectors. Here are our top five takeaways from the show:
- Housing Starts See A Big Jump: The home building sector will continue its comeback in 2017 and should make significant strides. NAHB predicts single-family production will rise 10 percent to 855,000 this year.
- 55+ Living All About Amenities: Buyers in the 55+ market — both single-family homes and multifamily units — are looking for amenities. Smart tech in homes will be critical for the next few years and buyers want communities to focus on lifestyle.
- Multifamily Slowdown: As single-family building booms, there is finally a slowdown coming to multifamily projects. Financing is expected to tighten further in 2017, which could reduce the number deals to get done and cap rates should return to more normalized levels. Despite a slowdown, deals will still get done and many multifamily developers expect an uptick in 2018 or 2019.
- Changing Demographics: Shifting demographics was the subject of much conversation at the show. Builders and developers at all levels are jockeying to anticipate the needs of Boomers and Millennials, especially as their buying power grows. New research from Zillow reports that the average age of home buyers is only 36 years old and Millennials will soon represent more than 50 percent of buyers.
- Digital Marketing Dominance: Buyers at all stages of life and in all market segments are starting their apartment or new home search online. Increasingly, that search begins and is conducted on social media. Builders, developers, and others need to be more aggressive and strategic on digital platforms, especially social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, or risk being left behind.
2017 is poised to be a big year for many in the real estate and construction sectors. Drop us a line if you’d like to learn more or want to share your thoughts. And don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog as we provide market trends and insights throughout the year!