Millennials Changing Real Estate Market, Consultant Says

Stuart Eisenberg, partner and industry practice leader for real estate and construction services at BDO USA, joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWise 2016: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

Eisenberg commented on the influence millennials are having on the real estate market.

He noted that the group has already impacted office space design, resulting in the introduction of more open floor plans and increased amenity spaces. In the residential sector, millennials have sought out apartment buildings that offer communal meeting spaces.

“Millennials have already had an impact, and it’s going to continue,” Eisenberg said.

The rise of the sharing economy is also being felt in the real estate industry, Eisenberg observed.

Accommodation-listing service Airbnb is already starting to have an impact on hotel REITs in gateway cities, Eisenberg said. At the same time, office space-sharing company WeWork is impacting the office segment, he added.  The preference among millennials to rent rather than own is also impacting homebuilding and home sales, while benefitting the rental community, Eisenberg added.

Meanwhile, Eisenberg remarked that the dominant story in the REIT industry going forward will be the challenge in finding properties to acquire. “There’s a lot of competition from private equity groups and international investors, and finding deals that make sense is going to be a challenge,” he noted.