Downtown Residential Report – Part I

    Last summer the Nashville Downtown Partnership released a study of the state of the downtown residential real estate market. While this study was done back in July, many of the findings are still relevant. Over the new few days we will share with you exerpts from this report. To read the report in full, visit http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/.

    Trends: Moving back to the Cities

    The national economic outlook may seem daunting, yet some analysts see downtown across the nation reaping benefits of these lean times. The housing crisis, fuel crisis and heightened food costs are combining forces to change people’s lifestyles and favor urbanization. One of the most notable changes is a move from the suburbs back to the cities.

    This change is not a short-term phenomenon, but an emerging trend that will continue in the foreseeable future. Thirty-five million households exist today and another 10 to 12 million will be added over the next 20 years. A conservative outlook is that the top downtown markets will receive 1 to 2 million of these households. Main reasons cited for growth of movement to cities in the future are 1) lower transportation costs, 2) the economy—cities facilitate the flow of ideas, and 3) investment in urban amenities.

    During the housing boom, “the average size of a new home boomed.” Larger homes are much more expensive to heat and cool, and new homes are taking the direction of a more compact design. Environmental issues such as climate change appeal to compact developments, and moving forward, significant developments will be required to address sustainable building practices. “What” we build is changing “where” we build. Rehabbing buildings and infill projects in a compact environment will become a more environmentally approved practice.

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