How technology is changing almost every aspect of real estate

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Technology will change where we work, and how we build, market and lease real estate

Image credit: blupics (Flickr)
More home offices are just one aspect of how technology will impact our lives – and our real estate market. Image credit: blupics (Flickr)

Technological innovations are changing many aspects of our lives and how we do business.

The real estate world is no different, and it’s now predicted that technology will alter the value of home prices, as well as change how those who work in the real estate sector – from construction to sales – will do their jobs.

How technology will impact where we live

In the coming years, people will experience a dramatic paradigm shift in terms of what it means to work in an office or live at home.

Crucially, in real estate terms, it’s becoming less and less necessary to live within commuting distance to an office – so people are spreading out.

Law firm Nabarro surveyed 302 real estate investors, developers and agents, with combined portfolios of more than GBP350 billion (USD453 billion), for a new report on the outlook of the real estate world in a digital era.

Their findings show that most respondents believe that office spaces will need to adapt to more agile ways of working, with 88 percent agreeing that demand for flexible work environments will significantly increase in the next 10 years.

Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer at real estate company Redfin, believes the flexible work arrangements brought about by technology will ultimately even out home prices across the US.

“Safe havens” for affordable housing would be a thing of the past, as more Americans become empowered to move away from hot markets thanks to virtual collaboration.

“It’s a long-term trend of people who are telecommuting, people who are belonging to different technology companies checking in…from afar. That means that house prices are going to go up everywhere,” Kelman explained to Bloomberg in this video:



More: Future living: new tech will allow people to bypass current constraints

How technology will impact how we build, market and lease property

Sixty-four of Nabarro’s respondents predict a rise in modular construction in the next two years, while 59 percent believe in the growing application of 3D printing on construction by the end of a decade.

Moreover, 81 percent believe that virtual reality will be indispensable to real estate marketing and design in four years.

“Virtual reality will be huge in property. Virtual viewings and virtual meetings are becoming very realistic indeed and will cut the need for travel dramatically,” Juliette Morgan, partner for global technology practice at Cushman & Wakefield, told Nabarro.

“What is clear from our research is that real estate is no longer just about bricks and mortar or location. A wave of innovation is engulfing the sector from virtual reality to smart buildings and even driverless vehicles,” Ciaran Carvalho, senior partner at Nabarro, wrote.

“The real estate sector is now embracing technology to meet the needs of a generation of digital natives,” he also said.

Leaps in technology will redefine the very concept of the workspace. Around 88 percent of subjects expect the demand for agile, flexible work environments to gain traction.

This demand will be led by millennials, who will comprise 75 percent of the workforce by 2030, Nabarro predicted.

Read next: Is the future of shopping malls… virtual reality?