Just a few years ago the thought of seeing gas prices hitting over $4 per gallon was unthinkable. Today, its a reality and the odds are prices will continue to climb and hit over $5 per gallon before the end of the year. Fuel prices affect everything, since the majority of goods in the U.S. are moved by truck.
Real Estate Industry
The effect rising gas prices have had on the real estate industry is two fold. Consumers are more concerned with commute time than they were a few years ago, making communities on the outskirts of the city less desirable (its still about location!). In response, developers have switched to mixed use developments, marketing them as live/work areas. Business owners can live right above their place of work, virtually eliminating the need to commute. The monetary savings in fuel costs is a large incentive. Other communities take it a step further by providing free transportation to other areas of town, like the airport and the strip (two of the largest employment areas in the city). As fuel prices continue to go up, I'm sure we'll see more communities offer these type of amenities. Redevelopment of older neighborhoods closer to the city core will also increase.
Almost all of the new homes built in the Las Vegas valley meet the minimum requirements for the Energy Star rating. Currently, a few builders exceed those requirements and build homes that are very energy efficient. To stay competitive with an increased consumer demand, developers are going to have to build even more energy efficient homes. Green buildings may become the standard in the next five years due to energy costs. But its likely that location will still play a huge part in the buying decision. It may effect resales of older, less energy efficient homes in the coming years. Those home sellers will be competing against more energy efficient homes for buyers. A rise in the number of "green" remodelers is a definite possibility and such remodeling may become a necessity to get top dollar for a resale home in the future, since it is doubful that energy costs will be going down any time soon.
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