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Future trends will reshape real estate industry

11/1/05
REAL DEALS / Maria Zate

Real estate professionals, are you ready for the dawning of the "Age of Real Estate?"

A handful of "mega-shifts" will reshape the real estate industry and create that new age in the next 20 years, according to Christopher Lee, head of CEL & Associates Inc., a real estate consulting firm in Los Angeles.

In the latest issue of "Inside IREM LA," published by the Institute of Real Estate Management of Los Angeles, Mr. Lee writes about four mega-shifts that will drive the industry in the next few decades.

Changing demographics is the first, Mr. Lee says. The number of people 65 or older will almost double from roughly 36 million in 2005 to about 70 million by 2030. That's a leap from 12 percent of the population now to 20 percent. People ages 18 to 34 will also grow in number -- that demographic will rise from about 65 million to 75 million. Furthermore, the Latino population will increase from 36 million this year to nearly 66 million in 2030.

All of these population changes will create high demand for multifamily housing, student housing, work force housing, condominiums and urban-based housing, Mr. Lee writes.

The second shift is the movement of jobs and population to the Sunbelt, or the South and West, he says. In the next 25 years, the Sunbelt will add close to 72 million residents, while the rest of the nation adds only about 10 million.

This will create strong opportunities along the coasts and "lifestyle" locations in California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia, Mr. Lee says.

An abundance of capital drives the third shift. Mr. Lee writes that pension funds will likely double their allocations to real estate, and foreign capital will continue to be attracted to U.S. investments. This will form a big source of growth for real estate financial services firms, brokers, developers and acquisition personnel, he says.

The fourth shift is the changing nature of the traditional U.S. household, and what Mr. Lee calls "the long-overdue makeover of institutional and government-owned real estate."

In 1950, only 9 percent of U.S. households were composed of a person living alone. By 2030, single-person households will make up 29 percent of the population.

Also, aging college and university housing, military housing, schools and health care facilities will create opportunities for pedestrian-centric urban communities and neighborhoods, Mr. Lee writes, thus emphasizing mixed-use projects and condos.

Elsewhere:

* A 1.14-acre parcel of land with a restaurant building at 4610 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria was recently sold for $1.84 million. Coco's Bakery Restaurant formerly occupied the 4,500-square-foot building. Michael Martz and Steve Leider of Leider Hayes Commercial in Santa Barbara represented the Seller, K.O.H. Atlas investment group. The Buyer was Kamran Amiri of Montecito, represented by George Logan of Prudential.

* Softshare Inc., which specializes in software for electronic commerce, has leased about 14,500 square feet of office space at 911 Olive St. in Santa Barbara. The company will be moving out of its current location on West Canon Perdido Street in December. John Peckham of Grubb & Ellis in Santa Barbara represented Softshare, while Vikki Taylor of SIMA Management Corp. represented the landlord.

Maria Zate covers commercial real estate for the News-Press. Contact her at 564-5104 or mzate@newspress.com.

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