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Emerging Trends in Real Estate® United States and Canada 2023

October 27, 2022 | Americas

Report Summary: As we enter 2023, leading industry experts predict a ‘new normal’ for real estate markets after all the pandemic-fueled market distortion. Leaders from across the real estate sector—including investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisors and consultants—were interviewed for the ULI and PwC report. Currently, the economy is being defined by rising interest rates and uncertainty over future market conditions. However, most of the real estate professionals interviewed for this report are cautiously optimistic about the longer-term prospects for the industry. What should the industry expect to be the best opportunities in the coming year?

Key Trends

Normalizing: Defying just about every prediction voiced during the terrifying and uncertain days of the COVID lockdown, U.S. commercial property markets subsequentially embarked on a remarkable run, with some of the strongest returns, rent growth, and price appreciation rates ever recorded. Now, more than two years later, property investors and managers are learning that enormous growth and profits eventually fall back to earth.

. . . Still, We’ve Changed Some: Even as some property markets begin to “normalize” in many ways, we will not be resuming our former lives in some key respects. Many activities—and how we use space—seem unlikely to return to the old ways, influencing shopping, business travel, and office space.

Too Much for Too Many: Housing is too expensive. It has been that way for too long—for too many people neither for-sale nor rental housing is affordable—but prices and rents have soared even further out of reach over the course of the past year. And even if we experience an economic downturn, as many economists expect, it is not projected to provide significant relief.

Smarter, Fairer Cities through Infrastructure Spending: Infrastructure is back among the top trends in Emerging Trends, but this time on a more hopeful note. New federal infrastructure spending provides the opportunity to replace and expand critical urban infrastructure to rebuild cities and spur new development—and address historical inequities.

Climate Change’s Growing Impact on Real Estate: The earth is getting hotter. As a result, extreme weather and climate events are becoming more frequent and more severe. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information calculates that the annual number of billion-dollar events (adjusted for inflation) in the United States has been increasing rapidly in recent decades, rising from about three per year in the 1980s to over 20 in the 2020s. This year, we highlight climate’s impact on us as owners, managers, and users of real property—and how our industry can proactively address the impacts of climate change on our assets.

Dive deeper into these emerging trends and others: Capital Moving to the Sidelines—or to Other Assets; Give Me Quality, Give Me Niche; Finding a Higher Purpose; Rewards—and Growing Pains—in the Sun Belt; and; Action through Regulation.

Property Type Outlook

Reflecting a more cautious mood, the average rating for all property types together in our Emerging Trends survey fell more this year than in any year since the Global Financial Crisis. But that overall trend masks diverse underlying dynamics. Though the rating fell for 15 of the 25 property subsectors, they rose for the other 10, so sectoral preferences are moving in different directions, even if the general mood is less exuberant this year.

Read to understand how experts view the current state of different property type markets, as well as their outlooks. Property type markets covered in the report include major sectors, such as multifamily; single-family housing; industrial and logistics; office; retail; and hotels. Niche sectors covered include senior housing; student housing; data centers; self-storage; medical office; and life sciences (commercial laboratory real estate).

Markets to Watch Reflecting the “normalizing” trend, almost every market in the country received lower ratings for both investment and development prospects this year. On the other hand, the pandemic seems to have reinforced some trends, notably the dominance of what we called the “Magnet” markets—many of which are in warmer Sun Belt regions. Other trends that play out in the market ratings are the challenges facing some booming markets as they mature into larger cities and the importance of housing affordability and infrastructure investment to continued economic growth.


  1. Nashville

  2. Dallas/Fort Worth

  3. Atlanta

  4. Austin

  5. Tampa/St. Petersburg

  6. Raleigh/Durham

  7. Miami

  8. Boston

  9. Phoenix

  10. Charlotte

About Emerging Trends in Real Estate®

Emerging Trends in Real Estate® is one of the most highly regarded annual industry outlooks for the real estate and land use industry, published jointly by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. By incorporating interviews and survey responses from several hundred industry professionals, the report provides an in-depth outlook by region on real estate investment, development trends, and capital markets. The report is produced in four versions: Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Global. All the Emerging Trends in Real Estate® reports published since 2003 are available on Knowledge Finder.


Emerging Trends in Real Estate® is jointly sponsored by the Urban Land Institute and PwC. Since 2003, the Urban Land Institute and PwC have collaborated to produce one of the most comprehensive real estate and land use industry reports. PwC is a global network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory, and tax services. Find out more about PwC at


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