Professor Says Retirees, Millennials and Immigrants Changing Real Estate Industry

Kerry Vandel, finance professor at the University of California-Irvine, joined REIT.com for a video interview during REITWise 2015: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference held in Phoenix.

Vandel cited three demographic groups that will heavily influence the real estate industry in the near future: baby boomers, millennials and immigrants.

The United States has “a much larger immigrant pool than we’ve had in the past,” Vandel said.

Vandel noted that those three demographic groups can be broken down further by wealth.

“If you look at that intersection between wealth and income and those various groups, it’s going to tell you a lot about what the future of the economy is going to look like,” he said.

Along with changing demographics, changes to how real estate is being used are affecting the industry, according to Vandel. For example, evolving technologies are allowing workers more flexibility with their time at the office.

“That will have an impact on the demand for traditional office space,” Vandel noted.

Preferences for working environments are changing, too, Vandel said. More businesses are adding amenities such as gyms and recreation centers to their offices.

Looking ahead, Vandel said the real estate market has “underestimated” the impact of globalization and capital flows in and out of the United States.