Emerging Trends in Commercial Real Estate


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It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Warren Buffett


What developing trends are on the rise in the commercial real estate industry for the remainder of 2016? What’s currently in demand and what will likely stay in demand in the coming months?

While commercial real estate is still rolling strong, there is no question that the face, design and strategies associated with the industry are changing rapidly. Commercial real estate brokers, landlords, investors, financiers and tenants all need to know what’s next and which elements are most important moving forward.

The Commercial Real Estate Landscape in 2016

Although the financial media has their opinion as to which areas and property types are most in demand, the data continues to contradict these mainstream real estate trends, specifically as it relates to urban versus suburban migration.

According to the World Bank, the U.S. shows a consistently widening gap in urban versus rural population between 1920 and 2014. However, newer data shows that 20% more people in America have been flocking to the suburbs rather than the urban core.

Another trend to consider is the benefits of investing in primary versus tertiary real estate markets. Although brokers and investors have voiced an active interest in secondary markets for yield and growth, the figures still show big funds and the ultra-wealthy dedicating the bulk of their capital to familiar and major metro areas.

Trending Property Types

The most popular types of commercial properties being developed throughout North America appear to be mixed use, micro-lofts, and multifamily apartments. However, locals in many areas are also witnessing an explosion in the redevelopment of local shopping plazas, and construction of outlets and big box stores.

Building Design + Construction also adds that trending properties in 2016 will include healthcare, fitness, off-price retail, and a quiet resurgence in demand for urban warehouse as companies fight for the fastest shipping and delivery times.

Trending Commercial Building Features in 2016

  • Smart buildings
  • Self-sufficient and sustainable
  • Smaller unit footprints
  • Focus on community and experience


The commercial real estate space, especially construction and redevelopment, continues to push forward. Commercial properties are now experiencing a new leap as they catch up with new technology which has become available. An ongoing rise in foreign investment in North America, coupled with the increasing awareness of being able to invest through tax saving self-directed retirement accounts domestically, is providing plenty of capital to fill demand. This is creating exciting opportunities for developers and investors, with some sweet spots, which may not have been considered by most yet.

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