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5 Commercial Real Estate Trends To Watch In 2017

By Lana Hawkins | January 19, 2017

People working in the commercial real estate business are very well aware that industrial trends do not get reset at the beginning of each year, but rather develop or subside as a consequence of matters not so strictly related to the calendar.

Still, it might be worth noting what we can expect in the next 12 months, based on the available facts and insights. Naturally, local situations might differ from global and general trends, which means local experts need to be ready to react accordingly.

Showcasing real estate

Long gone are the days of having just professionally taken photos of the real estate. Since many countries have already allowed drones to be used in commercial activities, real estate agents are creating completely new experiences of showcasing available properties.

A benefit of this use of technology for investors is that they can inspect the homes, office buildings or other real estate they are interested in much more closely and easily, without having to actually pay a visit.

Buyers find this new trend also very practical, because it allows them to check the property they like closely and possibly save them a lot of time and money by not going to visit the location, while still being able to look at the property from all angles.

Global trends

Both housing and commercial construction are expected to record positive growth in 2017. Although there are indications that commercial construction will not grow as much as housing starts, it is encouraging to see that the expected growth will be greater than the one recorded last year.

Despite the fact that the growth rates are not as high as they were two years ago, investors can feel encouraged by the growing trend nevertheless. With the global economy also expected to continue the positive trend, those involved in the real estate business have every reason to feel optimistic.

Use of space and material

There’ve been some shift in terms of both living and working spaces in demand. Just like the concept of co-living is reshaping the demand for housing units, urging designers to come up with ideas for separate living spaces combined with communal areas for cooking and socializing, the concept of co-working has brought about changes to the type of commercial property looked for.

The trend that functionality takes precedence over aesthetics can be noticed both in term of design and construction. Just like simple, ergonomic features are emphasised in the design, lightweight composite panels are used to substitute plywood when it comes to construction.

Politics and financial implications

Generally speaking, we could expect interest rates to rise globally as a result of economic stimulus and bigger deficits, which in turn lead to inflation. The political situation, especially after the elections in the US, is yet to settle and it remains to be seen how the situation with real estate in the States will affect the situation in other parts of the world.

What we can conclude without fear of being wrong is that higher interest rates might be detrimental to the scope of real estate being sold, since many buyers will be put off by the increased prices. Still, borrowers and lenders might use this opportunity and exploit the situation to their advantage more carefully, thus lowering the risk. It’s widely accepted that high interest rates signal strong economies and this also affects the real estate business.

Foreign investors

Closely related to the previous trend is the fact that we should expect more and more foreign investments in all segments of economy. With international investors ready more than ever to exploit opportunities worldwide and place their capital in any kind of real estate that yields profit, it would be unwise to believe that real estate business will not be affected.

Most such investors come from various parts of Asia, looking to utilise their financial power and know-how to gain maximum profit. With the increasingly demanding requests from prospective buyers, the investors need to be on top of their game to meet such requirements in terms of the quality of construction, design and price.

Naturally, these global trends might not be completely relevant to each and every part of the world, but they undoubtedly have effect on most markets. A shrewd thing to do would be to compare your business goals for this year against the trends and see how your plans fit in the big picture. You might even identify some room for development or a niche that has remained unoccupied by your competitors, which you can take advantage of. Whatever the situation, constant alertness and readiness to act remain of utmost importance.

About the author: Lana Hawkins is the editor of

About the author: Lana Hawkins is the editor of
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