Real estate plays a defining role in the American economy, making up over 40% of private assets nationally, while it simultaneously plays a role in our everyday lives as an expression of health, innovation, community, and culture. Real estate is also cyclical, the most recent reset triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis and the Great Recession. As illustrated in recent research, the market is overdue for its next reset, due to five converging and disruptive trends, many of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic: persistent segregation by race and income, America’s ongoing demographic transformation, destabilized regional housing markets, the future of work, and disruptions to the retail ecosystem.
On Thursday, February 18, Brookings’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking, in partnership with Smart Growth America, hosted an event focused on The Great Real Estate Reset, examining the forces that pushed the industry toward this moment and the tactics to address it. Representative Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) opened the program with keynote remarks, followed by a panel of local leaders discussing practice and policies the real estate industry and the public sector must adopt to successfully meet the moment.