Newsflash: There is unrest in the Middle East!
That is hardly news. News would be when there is continuous peace and stability in the Middle East. And with every new conflict or revolt in the Mid East comes rising oil prices and public panic. Think back the past 10 years and we as a society have endured an enormous amount of problems that often resulted in panic over oil prices. So the question is, how have those instances changed our ways of thinking and living?
GREEN - the trendy word to classify ones conscientious way of being more energy efficient. Alternative energy, energy audits, walk scores, etc.. are becoming an everyday part of life in real estate discussions. The automobile has become much more efficient as well as the way homes are constructed (these homes not even being LEED certified).
The real concern then is where will the next oil crisis take us? As an industry professional, I have concerns with the overall effect a crisis will have on the economy. Interest rates will be rising (talks of dissolving Fannie and Freddie as well in the upcoming years) and people won't be able to afford as much. The need for oil far surpasses the car. Food transportation and other shipping costs for basic needs will increase in cost. Once again, basic needs could increase in cost. Will incomes increase with it? Many questions arise.
I see further movement into major cities where the walk score is higher. I see homeowners looking for less space, which as a result will be more economical. I see more employers gravitating to mobilized offices. I see a further push for local farmers and food products. I see rural areas taking a hit (for the record, I live in the suburbs), and I see more use of public transit systems (hopefully!). Of course, this is not groundbreaking news. These outlooks have been going on for years now. But every time I see oil prices drastically fluctuate, I can't help but ask myself "Where will they take us"?