Being prepared for the megatrends enables us to better respond to future challenges. In the real estate sector, the current megatrends of importance include climate change and digitalisation. In addition to these, we have identified three other megatrends that have an essential impact on our activities now and in the future: urbanisation, demographic change and change in lifestyles.
Climate change mitigation requires major emission reductions and significant changes, especially in urban structures, both in buildings and construction. In the real estate sector, the importance of energy efficiency in particular is increasing.
Digitalisation will change the way we operate as it makes the collection and rapid analysis of huge amounts of data easier. New opportunities will arise for construction planning and automation of property maintenance, and the number of service channels will also increase.
Urbanisation will bring more and more people to live in cities, making the urban environment more compact. To keep the living and operating conditions good, cities must be sustainable in terms of infrastructure, governance and operation. As housing areas become more compact, the popularity of shared facilities in particular will increase.
Factors contributing to demographic change include changes in family types and the increase in the proportion of older people. Regional and social inequality is also increasing, which will increase the need for affordable housing.
The change in personal lifestyles will shape the expectations of the residents. New generations think differently, communality will increase, and the sharing economy will become more common. People want to borrow products and services instead of owning them, which will increase the demand for services related to housing.
The megatrends are challenged by so-called wild cards, or things happening relatively suddenly that may change directions of development within the sector. The coronavirus that spread to Europe in spring 2020 can be considered a wild card that makes the overall picture of the future unclear. In the real estate sector, the pandemic may have a long-term impact on construction, housing services and financing in particular.