A housing boom?
Demand for one type of neighborhood is predicted to grow fast.

We’ve been looking at the long-term advantages of living where there are shops, schools, businesses, health clinics, residences all jumbled together. A “mixed-use neighborhood” planners call it.

Many of these advantages derive from the rising costs of energy, healthcare, and taxes forecast for this decade – the stuff I’ve been writing about. Others come from the retirement preferences of baby boomers.

Walkable neighborhood in Jacksonville, FLNow I’m hearing about another factor: rising real estate values. Evidence of higher demand for homes in mixed-use, walkable/bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods is spotty and anecdotal at the moment. But there are many it-stands-to-reason predictions out there. There are plenty of developers touting the idea. And there are a range of different approaches to creating new neighborhoods, from turning an urban industrial area into a major commercial/residential community, to the “infill” of suburban sprawl, despite the drag of existing zoning.

If prices are going up, it seems I shouldn’t wait until the established mixed-use neighborhoods are bid out of my reach. But as an investor, I might do well to move somewhere that is redeveloping or infilling, where values should be going up as the uses begin to mix.