This is the time of year when we try to figure out what the near future holds. Here are some of our thoughts, based on the trends we’ve been seeing:
* More rental housing. Most of the residential projects we worked on in 2014 were multi-family rental projects. These projects were for both flats and townhomes. Good rental housing has been needed in the lower Hudson Valley for many years, but financing availability for condos allowed developers to build equivalent products and get their money out quickly. The changes in financing rules post-2008 have all but eliminated new condo development. New rental projects have started to fill the vacuum. To our minds, this is a welcome change. Now, all we have to do is convince municipal officials that these new units should not be reserved only for seniors and volunteers.
* Subdivisions are slowly working their way back into the mix. But the lots are smaller, and so are the homes. Demographics are a big part of this: older homeowners are looking to downsize, while younger singles and couples don’t want to deal with the responsibility of a large house.
* The office market is dead, except in eastern Ramapo. The Orthodox and Hasidic communities need office space, as more and more are resisting the idea of commuting to New York City.
* Retail is mixed. While we have been seeing some standalones (especially drugstores), there has been very little in the way of retail centers.