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Population shifts to alter RE's 'Demand Profile'

ATLANTA - A research study from Atlanta-based Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc. predicts that aging baby boomers and immigrant population growth in major U.S. "gateway" cities is likely to have "significant potential impact" on commercial real estate. The report, Evolving America: Real Estate's Demand Profile, was authored by a team led by M. Leanne Lachman - now principal with Lend Lease after its acquisition of Boston Financial - and points to these population shifts as generating increased demand for all property types over the next decade.

The report calls the aging of America the single most important demographic trend that will occur over the next 50 years, during which today's affluent baby boomers are likely to live and work longer than their parents. This group is expected to migrate more at older ages, gravitate to seniors-friendly retail and move into seniors housing. However, Evolving America cautions developers to not overbuild - the full effect is not likely to be felt until after 2015.

The report also highlights the population effects of immigrants in major U.S. cities. This group is expected to keep rental housing and retail demand strong; fill vital labor-force needs in areas such as construction; and eventually, the group is predicted to follow the boomers out into U.S. suburbs, where job growth and home ownership will be strong.

Evolving America: Real Estate's Demand Profile was released last month and can be obtained by calling Lend Lease at (212) 554-4168 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

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