Sustainable Real Estate Trends in United States

Sustainable Real Estate Trends in United States
Several economic factors are affecting sustainable real estate and sustainable developments in the United States, including the number of baby boomers ready to downsize and the amenities that Gen Z buyers are looking for. If a developer or an investor in single family homes is able to change with the times, the company could create sustainable real estate that would bring money in for many years. Sustainable real estate gives the developer or investor a cultural, marketing and staffing advantage. Banks and investors are also more willing to invest in sustainable real estate, even though the initial costs to build are higher. Sustainable real estate has "green" features built in. In some cases, a building could be 100 percent sustainable by using solar power and then selling any extra power back to the electric company. The more energy-saving the home or retail/office establishment is, the more sustainable it is.

Born In
Baby boomers (also known as Generation Y) 1940s
Millennials 1980s
Generation Z 1990s - 2000s

Baby Boomers

Because of the Economic Downturn of 2007-8 and other economic factors in the early 2000s, baby boomers are trying to sell larger homes and downsize instead of retiring. With the additional loan burdens they have, they have had to wait to sell the home that their children grew up in and put retirement off for a while. This doesn't affect just residential real estate – it also affects commercial developments. Boomers are trying to “catch up” on their retirement funds and are not spending as much money in the retail sector. Many of the baby boomers have less than $50,000 in savings and may just break even on selling their home or could even take a loss.


Millennials are all about sharing the economy. They prefer working, living and shopping in convenient places. Often, new buildings were designed with retail and office space on the lower floors with apartments or condominiums on the upper floors so that millennials could have their convenience. They prefer open floor plan workspaces whereas older generations and the Gen Z generation prefer private work areas. Millennials are also ready to move to urban areas and want large homes to raise families. Many of them have been in the workforce for many years and are ready to start a family. They are used to having technology at their fingertips, so prefer homes that are sustainable and connected, preferably with wireless technology.

Generation Z

Generation Z adults are all about being connected. That means that their homes and workspace needs to be able to be equipped with the newest technology. They may not be interested in buying that large home that was loved by the baby boomers because the home is not set up to handle the technology that Gen Z adults are used to.

Generation Z adults also want more private workspaces. This means separate offices with doors, stability and structure. The millennials preferred an open workspace where everyone collaborated in one main area.

This means that investors must create sustainable developments that cater to the whims of the newest generation of the workforce. That may mean revamping current apartment complexes and retail establishments or purchasing the property for a brand new development that is built with the newest technology in mind, along with separate workspaces for each person.

The Housing Shortage

Because baby boomers are staying in their homes longer, and due to the number of millennials and Gen Z – over 150 million people looking for housing – there is currently a housing shortage in the United States. Developers may want to look into investing in single-family properties with smaller energy-efficient homes or even creating a development with townhomes or condominiums that cater to the newest generation of working adults.

Investors and developers interested in sustainable real estate in the United States would succeed in single family homes, housing developments and in retail developments, and with the better economy, the market is expected to remain hot.

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