Go green...Oscar style! I think we are going to see some amazing progress with respect to green alternatives in 2007...we already have. Lately, I have been thinking about real estate trends...sustainable buildings, mortgage lending, appreciation, mixed-use building construction, etc. How do these trends impact us now? Which ones are the most important for us to focus on? Are they inter-related? I think they are but it can get really complicated.
Consider real estate markets. For all intents and purposes, real estate markets are a regional phenomenon...housing trends tend to be localized...as Bay Area prices begin to level off on the west coast, the Phoenix area continues to experience moderate to strong growth. However, even in real estate, some trends are shared by all markets, even on a national or global level. One of these trends is the green movement, which is the focus of this blog. But another trend is the use of ARM (adjustable rate mortgages) by banks and mortgage lenders. With low introductory rates, many people have chosen ARMs as opposed to traditional fixed rate mortgages. And banks have not been shy about lending up to 5x buyers' incomes...what does all this mean...well, it means we could have a problem. If interest rates rise, homebuyers could become over extended, which could ultimately lead to foreclosure and with many ARMs expected to adjust this year...this could definitely cause some interesting things to happen especially in the residential housing market.
So, if this happens, will we see a slow down in the construction of green-ready homes? How will this influence sustainable development? Prices? It will be interesting to see how this plays out...on both a micro (local) and macro (national) level. I don't see green initiatives slowing down anytime soon but at the same time, if buyers can't afford to stay in their homes, something has to give. Let me know if you have seen any interesting trends in your cities or states. Have more houses come on the market? Are builders offering green alternatives in construction? Post a comment...I am curious as to what is happening across the country.