When buying a residence, people assume that it will become a home for more than five years. Technology and innovation are increasingly dictating trends in real estate. Andero Laur, CEO of Liven AS, writes what will happen in the real estate sector as a result in the next decade.


Self-driving cars

Today, when buying Tesla, it is possible to order the “Full Self-Driving Capability” function for 6,200 euros. The upgraded function will be available in the coming years and will mark the triumph of self-driving cars. Once a workable solution reaches the market, the traditional use of cars will change. Cars will become mobile spaces that can also be used, for example, as offices or a bedroom. If we don’t have to spend our time driving a car, we can do business, take a nap or read a book at the same time.

Talking about the location of a property, people take into consideration its distance from strategically important places such as workplaces, schools or grocery stores. However, with self-driving cars, the perception of distance will change. When we no longer have to sit behind the wheel and can do the necessary things in a small space, i.e. in a self-driving car, long-distance journeys no longer seem as burdensome as they are today. Therefore, when choosing a home, more attention should be paid to which strategically important locations are within walking distance. This distance will remain included in the price even after the advent of self-driving cars, which will change the way long distances are treated.

This evolution in real estate is another blow to commuter towns, where there is no opportunity to spend time outdoors and there is no social infrastructure within walking distance. While these places had the advantage of jobs and leisure opportunities within a short drive, in the age of self-driving cars, it is no longer a determining factor.

The car will become a service. As time goes on, owning a car will become less important. Problems with parking will disappear in the inner city and the city centre and you no longer have to worry about charging a car. As a result of ride sharing, the total number of cars and the cost of one trip will decrease. If today most home buyers have to buy a parking space together with the apartment, in the future it must be taken into account that when selling an apartment, the parking space may no longer have today’s value. This is because people use self-driving cars as a service. Perhaps one alternative would be to rent your parking space to Bolt or Uber, whose cars could stop there at night and recharge their batteries.


Use of VR technologies

The advent of virtual reality offers a new level of entertainment, the opportunity to visit places that do not yet exist or that are very far away. We can get acquainted with new homes, the construction of which has not yet started, and thus make it easier to make the right choices when buying a new home.

To experience a new kind of virtual world, we need appropriate glasses and at least 5 square meters of free space. In 5- or 10-years’ time, I see more people coming home to a room intended specifically for this purpose. It is possible to use the living room, but it may interfere with other family members. Also, converting a bedroom into a virtual space may not be the most sensible thing to do, unless the latter is empty. As the presence of windows is not important in this room, it is possible to plan this type of room in places where it is not possible to design bedrooms in the usual way.

If you plan a VR room with one glass wall, for example, it adds space and light and allows you to successfully use the room as a home office.


Internet of things and the smart home

At the end of 2019, major American technology giants joined forces to create a single standard that allows smart home products and home appliances to be managed from a single platform. Controlling the smart home of the future will work through Apple Home kit, Google or Alexa. All these platforms allow the user to automate the operation of the home. For example, you can program your home to turn on the radio and coffee machine and open the curtains when waking up in the morning.

These kind of products and solutions shall be designed in such a way that they are easy to upgrade and that the user can integrate new products into a single system. The fastest growing and most convenient smart home solutions are currently being developed in the field of DIY (Do it yourself). This trend will continue in the future, as new buildings are not important for technology developers. Above all, when creating new products, new solutions will be considered that can be used in already completed homes. Fast WiFi, 5G and better batteries will give this development a boost.

When buying a new home, you should think about technology in advance. For example, power supply should be planned for the curtains and a low-voltage cable for the electric lock to the front door of the apartment. Electrical sockets in locations of the robotic vacuum cleaner’s charging point and Alexa speaker for communication with the home.

Many smart home solutions already exist in some form, but for various reasons they have remained in the use of enthusiasts. It is always the case that new technologies are used first by individual consumers, who are not troubled by minor shortcomings. Once the bugs are fixed, the new solution will spread to a huge number of users at a tremendous rate.

Exactly what the future holds can never be predicted. Perhaps preparing for self-driving cars is not important at all, because they will eventually be replaced by drones transporting people. It is certain that the development of technology will continue at an even faster pace and this will also affect the real estate sector. In a few years’ time, possible solutions still seem like a utopia today, but they shouldn’t. The better the transport options, the further away people are ready to live from the city centre. Convenient use of virtual reality requires free space in our homes. Things around us and at home will be controlled by artificial intelligence, whom we will command.