Attitudes that will transform the built environment

In the first survey of its kind more than 20,000 people worldwide were polled – from baby boomers to Gen Zers – to determine how they will live, work and shop in the future, and how this will impact the real estate they use.

The survey on Cross-Generational Attitudes That Will Transform the Built Environment identified four key areas that will influence people’s real estate decisions: mental well-being, location of both living and working, ESG principles and hybrid working.

Quality of Life

Whereas financial factors and so-called “conspicuous consumption” used to motivate consumer choices, people are now actively making choices that they believe will enhance their well-being – researchers point out. On the work front, the majority of people are attaching greater importance to the quality of their working environment and related criteria such as flexibility, location, space design, technology, services, health, and wellness. Regarding how we live, consumers’ desire to seek higher quality properties offering better facilities and surroundings replaced affordability and the desire to save money. However, the current economic climate may temper this appetite – CBRE experts add. Shoppers are also placing a stronger emphasis on the quality of their shopping destination. After the product, the next most common reason for visiting a store is the level of service received and the overall experience.

Location remains central

Next to salary, commute time to work was named as the most important factor when considering a new job, which again is driving a preference for properties in prime central areas. Despite a drift to the suburbs in some markets, a substantial proportion of respondents who plan to move their homes stated a preference to live in more centralized areas.

Location is also heavily influencing purchasing behaviour, with consumers demonstrating a strong preference to shop at physical stores for most products, underlining the continued relevance of brick-and-mortar retail.

ESG and wellness heavily influence consumer behaviour

Partly due to a pandemic-driven increase in health and safety concerns, ESG and wellness are wielding a far stronger influence on consumer behaviour than ever before.

Environmental concerns are becoming more prominent in the workplace, reflected by respondents’ belief that features such as natural light and better air quality make offices more attractive places to visit—findings that have implications for companies continuing to struggle with luring staff back to the office.

Hybrid Working

With most office-based workers having embraced hybrid working, flexibility over when and where to work is becoming much more important both when choosing a job and when rating their satisfaction in various areas of work experience and working environment. Companies that do not offer such arrangements may find it harder to attract talent.

The impacts of hybrid working are being felt in the home, where most hybrid workers already have a dedicated workspace and a majority regard having a dedicated space for working as more important home-selection criteria than pricing. Developers of residential property will need to respond accordingly.


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